Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An idiom or custom peculiar to the Greeks.
  • n. The civilization and culture of ancient Greece.
  • n. Admiration for and adoption of Greek ideas, style, or culture.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of the characteristics of ancient Greek culture, civilization, principles and ideals, including humanism, reason, the pursuit of knowledge and the arts, moderation and civic responsibility.
  • n. The culture and civilization of the Hellenistic period.
  • n. The admiration for and adoption of ancient Greek culture, ideas and civilization.
  • n. The national character or culture of Greece.
  • n. The belief in and worship of the Greek gods.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A phrase or form of speech in accordance with genius and construction or idioms of the Greek language; a Grecism.
  • n. The type of character of the ancient Greeks, who aimed at culture, grace, and amenity, as the chief elements in human well-being and perfection.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A peculiarity of the Greek language; a word, phrase, idiom, or construction used or formed in the Greek manner.
  • n. The spirit and tendency regarded as especially characteristic of the Greek race, historically considered, and as best exemplified in its pursuit of intellectual and physical culture, and its predilection for the noble, the strong, and the beautiful in thought and action. See extract under Hebraism, 2.
  • n. Conformity to Greek speech and ideas; imitation or adoption of Greek characteristics in any respect.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the principles and ideals associated with classical Greek civilization

Etymologies

Either via French Hellenisme or Latin or directly from Ancient Greek Ἑλληνισμός (hellenismos, "imitation of the Greeks"), from Ancient Greek Έλλην (Hellen, "a Greek") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The author of 2 Maccabees depicted instead a brutal civil war, an internal struggle within the Jewish community between "Judaism" and "Hellenism" -- words that he in fact coined.

    Shawna Dolansky: The Truth(s) About Hanukkah

  • Three are generic names, namely Hellenism, Samaritanism, and Judaism.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 13: Revelation-Stock

  • For the Homeric civilization was not a different stage of development of that same civilization which appears when the first beginnings of what we are accustomed to call Hellenism are presented to us; it was totally diverse, and in many respects more complex and more splendid.

    The Sea-Kings of Crete

  • Hellenism, which is the principle pre-eminently of intellectual light (our modern culture may have more colour, the medieval spirit greater heat and profundity, but Hellenism is pre-eminent for light), has always been most effectively conceived by those who have crept into it out of an intellectual world in which the sombre elements predominate.

    The Renaissance Studies in Art and Poetry

  • a long essay on Plato in a book called "Hellenism" -- very good.

    Margot Asquith, an Autobiography - Two Volumes in One

  • Although Babylonia may have been the first Jewish exile community, it was among the Greeks that assimilation first became an issue (so much so that in those days Jews called assimilation "Hellenism").

    Tom Teicholz: The Getty Villa: The 'Wow' Factor

  • In the early nineteenth century Greece was the focus of a cultural movement, an idealizing "Hellenism," and international political involvement in the War of Independence against the Ottoman

    Note: Greece

  • Western Europe is apt to depreciate modern 'Hellenism', chiefly because its ambitious denomination rather ludicrously challenges comparison with a vanished glory, while any one who has studied its rise must perceive that it has little more claim than western Europe itself to be the peculiar heir of ancient Greek culture.

    The Balkans A History of Bulgaria—Serbia—Greece—Rumania—Turkey

  • 'Hellenism' and nationality have become for him identical ideas; and when at last the hour of deliverance struck, he welcomed the Greek armies that marched into his country from the south and the east, after the fall of Yannina in the spring of 1913, with the same enthusiasm with which all the enslaved populations of native Greek dialect greeted the consummation of a century's hopes.

    The Balkans A History of Bulgaria—Serbia—Greece—Rumania—Turkey

  • This spiritual 'Hellenism', however, was only one manifestation of returning vitality, and was ultimately due to the concrete economic development with which it went hand in hand.

    The Balkans A History of Bulgaria—Serbia—Greece—Rumania—Turkey

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