1. ancient Greek culture or ideals.
  2. the imitation or adoption of ancient Greek language, thought, customs, art, etc.: the Hellenism of Alexandrian Jews.
  3. the characteristics of Greek culture, especially after the time of Alexander the Great; civilization of the Hellenistic period.


  1. the principles, ideals, and pursuits associated with classical Greek civilization
  2. the spirit or national character of the Greeks
  3. conformity to, imitation of, or devotion to the culture of ancient Greece
  4. the cosmopolitan civilization of the Hellenistic world

c.1600, “idiom or expression peculiar to Greek;” see Hellenic + -ism. In sense “culture and ideals of ancient Greece,” 1865.

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