am·​phic·​ty·​o·​ny am-ˈfik-tē-ə-nē How to pronounce amphictyony (audio)
plural amphictyonies
: an association of neighboring states in ancient Greece to defend a common religious center
broadly : an association of neighboring states for their common interest
amphictyonic adjective

Word History


borrowed from Greek Amphyktyonía, from amphiktíones, amphiktýones "neighbors" (from amphi- amphi- + -ktiones, participial derivative, with the intransitive sense "live, dwell," from the base of ktízō, ktízein, aorist éktisa "to settle in, people [a country], establish") + -ia -y entry 2; ktízō, ktízein going back to an Indo-European verbal base *tḱei̯- "inhabit, settle," whence also Sanskrit kṣéti "(s/he) dwells," plural kṣiyánti, Avestan šaēiti "(s/he) lives," plural šiieiṇti

Note: The base *tḱei̯- may continue a present tense formation *tḱ-éi̯-ti, *tḱ-i-énti based on zero-grade of the root *teḱ- "generate, give birth to" (see R. Beekes, Etymological Dictionary of Greek, Brill, 2009, p. 791). See dystocia, tectonic and note at home entry 1.

First Known Use

1835, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of amphictyony was in 1835

Dictionary Entries Near amphictyony

Cite this Entry

“Amphictyony.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

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