Definition of koine in English:



mass noun
  • 1The common language of the Greeks from the close of the classical period to the Byzantine era.

    • ‘Where are you getting the character guide for transliteration of koine?’
    • ‘Church services are conducted in koine, a later form of ancient Greek in which the New Testament is written.’
    • ‘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. 1.1count noun A common language shared by various peoples; a lingua franca.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘By the early eighteenth century, American varieties of English, extraterritorial immigrant koines, began to emerge in several regions.’


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