\ ˈgrēk How to pronounce Greek (audio) \

Definition of Greek

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a native or inhabitant of ancient or modern Greece
b : a person of Greek descent
2a : the language used by the Greeks from prehistoric times to the present constituting a branch of Indo-European — see Indo-European Languages Table
b : ancient Greek as used from the time of the earliest records to the end of the second century a.d. — see Indo-European Languages Table
c often not capitalized [translation of Latin Graecum (in the medieval phrase Graecum est; non potest legi It is Greek; it cannot be read)] : something unintelligible it's Greek to me
3 : a member of a Greek-letter fraternity or sorority



Definition of Greek (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or characteristic of Greece, the Greeks, or Greek Greek architecture
b : of or relating to an Eastern church using the Byzantine rite in Greek
c : of or relating to the established Orthodox church of Greece
3 : of or relating to fraternities or sororities the Greek system

First Known Use of Greek


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for Greek


Middle English Greke, from Old English Grēca, from Latin Graecus, from Greek Graikos

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Time Traveler for Greek

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The first known use of Greek was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Greek.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of Greek

: a person born, raised, or living in Greece
: a person whose family is from Greece
: the language of the Greeks


\ ˈgrēk How to pronounce Greek (audio) \

Kids Definition of Greek

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person born or living in Greece
2 : the language of the Greeks



Kids Definition of Greek (Entry 2 of 2)

: of or relating to Greece, its people, or the Greek language

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