[sir-uh-kyoos, -kyooz]
  1. a city in central New York.
  2. Italian Siracusa. a seaport in SE Sicily: ancient city founded by the Carthaginians 734 b.c.; battles 413 b.c., 212 b.c.
Related formsSyr·a·cu·san, adjective, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for syracuse


  1. (ˈsaɪrəˌkjuːz) a port in SW Italy, in SE Sicily on the Ionian Sea: founded in 734 bc by Greeks from Corinth and taken by the Romans in 212 bc, after a siege of three years. Pop: 123 657 (2001)Italian name: Siracusa
  2. (ˈsɪrəˌkjuːs) a city in central New York State, on Lake Onondaga: site of the capital of the Iroquois Indian federation. Pop: 144 001 (2003 est)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for syracuse


city in Sicily, founded as a Corinthian colony, 8c. B.C.E., from a pre-Hellenic word, perhaps Phoenician serah "to feel ill," in reference to its location near a swamp. The city in New York, U.S., was named 1825 for the classical city.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper