Definition of koine in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈkɔɪniː/


[mass noun]
1The common language of the Greeks from the close of the classical period to the Byzantine era.
Example sentences
  • Church services are conducted in koine, a later form of ancient Greek in which the New Testament is written.
  • Where are you getting the character guide for transliteration of koine?
  • What is the significance of a set of terms appropriated into English from a Latin-speaking Church hierarchy, describing events written down in koine by four men, one of whom was actually a native Greek speaker?
1.1 [count noun] A common language shared by various peoples; a lingua franca.
Example sentences
  • By the early eighteenth century, American varieties of English, extraterritorial immigrant koines, began to emerge in several regions.
  • The international koine bound this group together through visual channels; its lack of cultural affiliation and emphasis on hybrid royal iconography made it the logical expression of a brotherhood of kings.
  • Altogether, the display of such diverse objects within a single gallery might have offered an opportunity to evaluate the artistic koine that has been noted in luxury arts of the eastern Mediterranean.


Late 19th century: from Greek koinē (dialektos) 'common (language)'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: koine

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.