acropolis

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noun acrop·o·lis \ə-ˈkrä-pə-ləs\

Definition of acropolis

  1. :  the upper fortified part of an ancient Greek city (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: 1662


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