koi·​ne | \ kȯi-ˈnā How to pronounce koine (audio) , 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

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Cite this Entry

“Koine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/koine. Accessed 6 Dec. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on koine

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about koine


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