"pertaining to Greece," 1640s, from Greek Hellēnikos "Hellenic, Greek," from Hellēn "a Greek," a word of unknown origin; traditionally from the name of an eponymous ancestor, Hellēn, son of Deucalion. To Homer the Hellenes were a small tribe in southern Thessaly (his word for one of the Greek-speaking peoples is our Achaean). In modern use in the arts, Hellenic is used of Greek work from the close of the primitive phase to the time of Alexander the Great or the Roman conquest (succeeded by the Hellenistic).
updated on May 18, 2020
Dictionary entries near Hellenic