Definition of Atticism in English:



  • A word or form characteristic of Attic Greek.

    • ‘His language is infinitely graceful; the purest Atticism prevails in it, and he adapts it with great skill to all tones.’
    • ‘It is said that she criticised Pindar for introducing Atticisms into his poems.’
    • ‘Thus Atticism in the Roman Empire continued to be used long after it became incomprehensible to those without special training.’
    • ‘It would seem, in a general way, that Atticism stood for directness, force, and naturalness.’
    • ‘In later centuries, writers, to demonstrate their erudition, would use forms that had only existed in Attic, ‘Atticisms.’


Late 16th century: from Greek Attikismos, from Attikos (see Attic). From the original sense of the Greek language as used by the Athenians arose the meaning refined, elegant Greek later extended to language in general.