a. The Indo-European language of the Greeks.
b. Greek language and literature from the middle of the eighth century BC to the end of the third century AD, especially the Attic Greek of the fifth and fourth centuries BC.
a. A native or inhabitant of Greece.
b. A person of Greek ancestry.
3. Informal A member of a fraternity or sorority that has its name composed of Greek letters.
4. Informal Something that is unintelligible: Quantum mechanics is Greek to me.
Of or relating to Greece or its people, language, or culture.
[Middle English Grek, from Old English Grēcas, the Greeks, from Latin Graecus, Greek, from Greek Graikos, ethnic designation of a Boeotian tribe that settled in Italy.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.