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Alternative forms[edit]

  • (abbreviation) Gr.


English Wikipedia has an article on:

From Old English Grēcas (Greeks), variant of Crēcas, from Proto-West Germanic *krēk, from Latin Graecus, of uncertain origin, perhaps derived via Illyrian or other Paleo-Balkans forms from a tribal name Graii, or possibly from the toponym Γραῖα (Graîa). Greek in any case has the cognate Γραικός (Graikós), the mythological ancestor of the Graecians (Γραίοι (Graíoi). Germanic cognates include Dutch Griek, German Grieche.

The adjective dates to the Middle English period (14th century), replacing Old English Grēcisċ (as it were “Greekish”) and earlier Middle English Gregeis.


  • enPR: grēk, IPA(key): /ɡɹiːk/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːk

Proper noun[edit]

Greek (countable and uncountable, plural Greeks)

  1. The language of the Greek people, spoken in Greece, Cyprus and other Greek communities.
  2. The writing system used in writing the Greek language.
  3. A surname​.


Usage notes[edit]

In writings about the modern world, Greek is used primarily for the modern language currently spoken in Greece, and Ancient Greek will be used for older forms of the language. In the classics and other pre-modern studies, Greek is used for the old forms of the language, and if the modern language is mentioned, it will be called Modern Greek.


Greek (countable and uncountable, plural Greeks)

  1. (countable) An inhabitant, resident, or person of descent from Greece.
  2. (uncountable, colloquial) Unintelligible speech or text, such as foreign speech or text, or regarding subjects the listener is not familiar with, such as mathematics or technical jargon; or statements that the listener does not understand or agree with; also, the nonsense placeholder text used in greeking.
    • 1821, Mary Jane Mackenzie, Geraldine, or Modes of faith and practice[1], page 8:
      "I don't hear one word in ten that they say," continued Mrs. Abingdon; "it's Greek to me. However, ..."
    • 1859, Kinahan Cornwallis, Two journeys to Japan, 1856–7, Volume 2[2], page 246:
      "It's all Greek to me," said my companion at the outset, but as the warrior continued, his fears arose within him; it might be sentence of death—what did he know what it might not be?
    • 1951 December, “Which Kind of Life Insurance Policy?”, in Changing Times – The Kiplinger Magazine[3], volume 5, number 12, page 28:
      ...preferred maintenance...20-pay life. That's a bare sampling of the merchandise you're asked to pick and choose from. If it sounds like Greek to you, don't worry. It sounds like Greek to most people.
  3. (US, countable) A member of a college fraternity or sorority, which are characterised by being named after Greek letters. (See also Greek system.)
    Was Joe a Greek in college?
  4. (archaic) A cunning rogue; a merry fellow.
  5. (uncountable, slang) Anal sex.
    • 2001, "(unknown)", ASP: "Julie" of Oral-Land-Oh, in, Usenet:
      She is absolutely a total GFE, no limits, except no Greek. (Well...I say “no Greek” - - if she is really hot for you, and if she is really turned on in a long session, she might beg for a finger in her anus while you suck her clit, but she is just too tiny and tight for any “real meat” in the backdoor.)
    • 2012, Maxim Jakubowski, The Best British Crime Omnibus:
      “What's within reason?” “Hand-job, blow-job, full sex — straight, full service. Greek, maybe, if you're not too big. Golden shower, if you like, but not reverse. No hardsports. And absolutely nothing without.”
  6. (uncountable) Greek cuisine; traditional Greek food.
  7. (finance, chiefly in the plural) One of the Greeks, measures of derivative price sensitivity.

Derived terms[edit]



Greek (comparative Greeker, superlative Greekest)

  1. Of or relating to Greece, the Greek people, or the Greek language.
    • 1879, R[ichard] J[efferies], chapter II, in The Amateur Poacher, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., [], OCLC 752825175:
      Orion hit a rabbit once; but though sore wounded it got to the bury, and, struggling in, the arrow caught the side of the hole and was drawn out. []. Ikey the blacksmith had forged us a spearhead after a sketch from a picture of a Greek warrior; and a rake-handle served as a shaft.
  2. (US) Of or pertaining to a fraternity or sorority.
  3. Unintelligible, especially regarding foreign speech or text, or regarding subjects the speaker is not familiar with, such as mathematics or technical jargon.


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Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

See also[edit]

Greek edition of Wiktionary

Further reading[edit]