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
koine was our Word of the Day on 04/19/2016. Hear the podcast!
Did You Know?
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.
Origin and Etymology of koine
Greek koinē, from feminine of koinos common
First Known Use: 1909
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up koine? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).