Definition of acropolis
: the upper fortified part of an ancient Greek city (such as Athens); also : a usually fortified height of a city or district elsewhere (as in Central America)
Did You Know?
The Greek root acro- means "high;" thus, an acropolis is basically a "high city". Ancient cities often grew up around a high point, in order that they could easily be defended. The Greeks and Romans usually included in their acropolises temples to the city's most important gods; so, for example, Athens built a great temple on its Acropolis to its protector goddess, Athena, from which the city took its name. Many later European cities cluster around a walled castle on a height, into which the population of the city and the surrounding area could retreat in case of attack, and even South American cities often contain a similar walled area on high ground.
Origin and Etymology of acropolis
Greek akropolis, from akr- acr- + polis city — more at police
First Known Use: 1570
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up acropolis? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).