Definitions

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

  • n. One in Hellenistic times who adopted the Greek language and culture, especially a Jew of the Diaspora.
  • n. A devotee or student of Greek civilization, language, or literature.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A specialist in the study of Greek language, literature, culture, or history, or an admirer of the Greek culture and civilization.
  • n. A person who adopted the Greek customs, language and culture during the Hellenistic period, especially a Hellenized Jew.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who affiliates with Greeks, or imitates Greek manners; esp., a person of Jewish extraction who used the Greek language as his mother tongue, as did the Jews of Asia Minor, Greece, Syria, and Egypt; distinguished from the Hebraists, or native Jews (Acts vi. 1).
  • n. One skilled in the Greek language and literature.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who is partly Greek; one who has Greek affinities, or who adopts the Greek language, manners, and customs; specifically, a Jew who used the Greek language and conformed more or less to Greek influence in the early period of Christianity, both in Palestine and in foreign countries, especially Egypt.
  • n. One skilled in the Greek language and literature; a Greek scholar; a Grecian.
  • n. A promoter of Greek culture; specifically, one of the learned Greeks who, after the fall of Constantinople in 1453, disseminated the knowledge of the Greek language and literature in Italy, and were among the chief agents of the revival of learning.

Etymologies

From Ancient Greek ελληνιστής (hellenistes) "somebody who speaks Greek", from ελληνίζειν (hellenizein) "to speak Greek, to make Greek, to become Greek, hellenize", from Ancient Greek Έλλην (Hellen) "Greek". (Wiktionary)

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