geographical name
Ath·​ens | \ ˈa-thənz How to pronounce Athens (audio) \

Definition of Athens

1 or Greek Athínai \ ä-​ˈthē-​(ˌ)ne How to pronounce Athínai (audio) \ or ancient Athenae \ ə-​ˈthē-​(ˌ)nē How to pronounce Athenae (audio) \ city and capital of Greece near the Saronic Gulf population 748,110

Note: Among the numerous ancient structures in Athens is the Parthenon, a temple built on the city's Acropolis in the fifth century b.c. that is considered to be the supreme example of Doric architecture.

2 city in northeastern Georgia coextensive with Clarke county population 115,452

Note: The campus of the University of Georgia is in Athens.

3 city in northern Alabama population 21,897
4 city in southeastern Ohio population 23,832

Note: The campus of Ohio University is in Athens.

Other Words from Athens

Athenian \ ə-​ˈthē-​nē-​ən How to pronounce Athenian (audio) , -​nyən \ adjective or noun

More from Merriam-Webster on Athens

Nglish: Translation of Athens for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of Athens for Arabic Speakers

Comments on Athens

What made you want to look up Athens? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of returning to life

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!