am·​phic·​ty·​o·​ny | \ am-ˈfik-tē-ə-nē How to pronounce amphictyony (audio) \
plural amphictyonies

Definition of amphictyony

: an association of neighboring states in ancient Greece to defend a common religious center broadly : an association of neighboring states for their common interest

Other Words from amphictyony

amphictyonic \ (ˌ)am-​ˌfik-​tē-​ˈä-​nik How to pronounce amphictyonic (audio) \ adjective

First Known Use of amphictyony

1835, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for amphictyony

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about amphictyony

Time Traveler for amphictyony

Time Traveler

The first known use of amphictyony was in 1835

See more words from the same year

Statistics for amphictyony

Cite this Entry

“Amphictyony.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on amphictyony Encyclopedia article about amphictyony

Comments on amphictyony

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


Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a traditional thanksgiving dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!