Definition of


  1. (noun, person) a native or inhabitant of Byzantium or of the Byzantine Empire
  2. (adj, all) highly complex or intricate and occasionally devious
    Byzantine methods for holding on to his chairmanship
    convoluted legal language
    convoluted reasoning
    the plot was too involved
    a knotty problem
    got his way by labyrinthine maneuvering
    Oh, what a tangled web we weave
    tortuous legal procedures
    tortuous negotiations lasting for months
  3. (adj, pert) of or relating to or characteristic of the Byzantine Empire or the ancient city of Byzantium
  4. (adj, pert) of or relating to the Eastern Orthodox Church or the rites performed in it
    Byzantine rites

via WordNet, Princeton University

Synonyms of Byzantine

convoluted, involved, knotty, tangled, tortuous

Alternate forms of Byzantine

Hypernyms: asian, asiatic

Origin of the word Byzantine

  1. 1590s, from L. Byzantinus (see Byzantium); originally used of art style; later in reference to the complex, devious, and intriguing character of the royal court of Constantinople. more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

Words that sound like Byzantine

basso continuo, bisontine, byzantium

via soundex() Hash Matches

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