koi·​ne kȯi-ˈnā How to pronounce koine (audio)
variants or less commonly koiné
: a dialect or language of a region that has become the common or standard language of a larger area
capitalized : the Greek language commonly spoken and written in eastern Mediterranean countries in the Hellenistic and Roman periods

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Get Linguistic With Koine

Koine, which means "common" or "shared" in Greek, was the language spoken in the eastern Mediterranean countries from the 4th century B.C.E. until the time of the Byzantine emperor Justinian (mid-6th century C.E.). In linguistics, the word koine is applied to a language developed from contact between dialects of the same language over a large region. Basically, a koine adopts those grammatical and lexical elements from the dialects of the region that are easily recognized by most area speakers and dispenses with those that are not.

Word History


Greek koinē, from feminine of koinos common

First Known Use

1909, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of koine was in 1909


Dictionary Entries Near koine

Cite this Entry

“Koine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/koine. Accessed 21 Mar. 2023.

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