Connect
To Top

    Greek Loanwords in English

    Greek Loanwords in English

    The English language has borrowed extensively from the Greek language beginning during the Germanic period when many words borrowed from Latin were originally borrowed into Latin from Greek. English continued to borrow from Greek through Latin during the Old English period. However, most of the Greek loanwords in English were borrowed during the Early Modern English period by scholars, scientists, writers, and other highly educated English speakers. Thus, although English is a Germanic language, many common and everyday words as well as the vocabulary of specialized domains such as science including linguistics are of Greek origin.

    List of Greek Loanwords

    With all the loanwords borrowed from Greek into English, an exhaustive list would be too lengthy to be possible. The following are some of the commonly used Greek loanwords in English:

    A

    • academia
    • academy
    • acoustics
    • aesthetics
    • amnesia
    • analogy
    • analysis
    • analytic
    • anatomy
    • angel
    • anonymous
    • antagonist
    • antarctica
    • anthropology
    • antibiotic
    • antiseptic
    • apathy
    • apocalypse
    • archaeology
    • archipelago
    • architecture
    • arctic
    • armageddon
    • atmosphere
    • atom
    • autocracy
    • autograph

    B

    • barbarian
    • bible
    • biology
    • butter

    C

    • calligraphy
    • cannabis
    • catapult
    • catastrophe
    • category
    • catharsis
    • chamomile
    • character
    • charisma
    • chord
    • christ
    • chronology
    • clergy
    • cleric
    • clerk
    • climate
    • climax
    • comedy
    • contiguity
    • critic
    • cynic

    D

    • data
    • democracy
    • demography
    • demon
    • diagnosis
    • diagonal
    • dialect
    • diameter
    • diamond
    • diaspora
    • dichotomy
    • dinosaur
    • disaster
    • dogma
    • dolphin
    • dragon

    E

    • ecology
    • economics
    • ecstasy
    • eczema
    • electron
    • emblem
    • embryo
    • empathy
    • emphasis
    • encyclopedia
    • energy
    • ephemeral
    • epicenter
    • epilepsy
    • epiphany
    • epistemology
    • ethics
    • ethos
    • etiology
    • etymology
    • eucharist
    • euphoria

    F

    G

    • galley
    • genetics
    • geography
    • geometry
    • giant
    • grammar
    • gymnasium
    • gymnastics

    H

    • harmony
    • hemisphere
    • hermeneutics
    • hero
    • hierarchy
    • hippopotamus
    • history
    • homonym
    • hormone
    • horoscope
    • hydraulics
    • hymn
    • hypnosis
    • hysteria

    I

    • idiot

    J

    • jealousy

    K

    • kaleidoscope
    • kinesis

    L

    • lexicography
    • lexicology
    • lexicon
    • lexis
    • lion
    • lithography
    • logic
    • lyrics

    M

    • mania
    • maniac
    • marble
    • martyr
    • mathematics
    • mechanic
    • melody
    • mentor
    • metamorphosis
    • metaphor
    • meteorology
    • monarch
    • monarchy
    • monastery
    • monk
    • monogamy
    • monotheism
    • morpheme
    • morphology
    • museum
    • music
    • mythology

    N

    • nausea
    • necromancy
    • nemesis
    • neurology
    • nostalgia

    O

    • ocean
    • oceanography
    • octopus
    • optics
    • organ
    • organism
    • organization
    • orgasm
    • orthodoxy
    • ostracize

    P

    • pain
    • paranoia
    • parasite
    • pasta
    • pathos
    • patriarch
    • phenomenon
    • philology
    • philosophy
    • phobia
    • phonograph
    • phonology
    • photograph
    • photography
    • piracy
    • placenta
    • plasma
    • plastic
    • pneumonia
    • poetry
    • prophet
    • protagonist
    • prototype
    • psyche
    • psychiatry
    • psychology
    • psychosis
    • pyramid

    Q

    • quince

    R

    • rhetoric
    • rhinoceros
    • rhombus
    • rhythm

    S

    • scandal
    • schema
    • schizophrenia
    • school
    • scorpion
    • semantics
    • skeleton
    • sketch
    • sphere
    • stadium
    • stereotype
    • sycophant
    • syllogism
    • symbol
    • sympathy
    • symptom
    • synonym
    • syntax

    T

    • taxonomy
    • theology
    • theory
    • thermodynamics
    • thesaurus
    • thesis
    • tragedy
    • typography

    U

    • urethra

    V

    W

    X

    • xenophobia
    • xylophone

    Y

    Z

    • zealot
    • zoology

    Resources

    Loanwords: Major Periods of borrowing in the history of English: http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~kemmer/Words/loanwords.html
    Wikipedia: Greek Loanwords: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/category:greek_loanwords

    More in Information

    • Word Matrix: Marsupe

      <marsupe> “purse, pouch” from Modern Latin marsupialis “having a pouch,” coined from Late Latin marsupium “pouch, purse” Word Sums Marsupe +...

      Heather JohnsonJuly 21, 2019
    • The -ion Suffix, Connecting Vowel <i>, and Phonological Markers

      To begin, -*tion, -*sion, -*cion, and -*xion are not suffixes. Only -ion is a suffix. A suffix is a bound morpheme...

      Heather JohnsonJuly 5, 2019
    • Word Matrix: Galact

      <galact> “milk, milky” from Greek gala (genitive galaktos, stem galakt-) “milk” Word Sums Galact + ic -> galactic Extra + Galact...

      Heather JohnsonJune 17, 2019
    • Using Verbs and Verb Phrases as Adjunct Adverbials

      Notional grammars traditionally verbs as “words that denote actions and states of being.” A verb phrase consists of a verb plus...

      Heather JohnsonJune 15, 2019
    • Word Matrix: Cat

      <cat> “feline” from Old English catt Words Sums Cat Cat + s -> cats Cat + ed -> catted Cat +...

      Heather JohnsonJune 6, 2019