koine

noun
koi·ne | \kȯi-ˈnā, ˈkȯi-ˌnā;kē-ˈnē\
variants: or less commonly koiné

Definition of koine 

1 : a dialect or language of a region that has become the common or standard language of a larger area

2 capitalized : the Greek language commonly spoken and written in eastern Mediterranean countries in the Hellenistic and Roman periods

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.

First Known Use of koine

1909, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for koine

Greek koinē, from feminine of koinos common

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about koine

Listen to Our Podcast about koine

Dictionary Entries near koine

Koibal

koilorachic

koimesis

koine

koinon

koinonia

Koiri

Statistics for koine

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for koine

The first known use of koine was in 1909

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on koine

See words that rhyme with koine

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about koine

Comments on koine

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

WORD OF THE DAY

not any or not one

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!