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Bible Lexicons

Old & New Testament Greek Lexical DictionaryGreek Lexicon

Strong's #1218 - δῆμος

Root Word (Etymology)
from (G1210)
Parts of Speech
masculine noun
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  1. the people, the mass of people assembled in a public place
Hebrew Equivalent Words:
Strong #: 4940 ‑ מִשְׁפָּחָה (mish‑paw‑khaw');  5971 ‑ עַם (am);  7255 ‑ רֹבַע (ro'‑bah);  7626 ‑ שֵׁבֶט (shay'‑bet);  
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Liddell-Scott-Jones Definitions


Dor. δᾶμος (cf. infr. IV), ,

1.district, country, land, Βοιωτοὶ μάλα πίονα δ. ἔχοντες Il. 5.710; Λυκίης ἐν πίονι δ. 16.437, cf. Od. 13.322, etc.; 'Ιθάκης ἐνὶ δ. 1.103; δήμῳ ἔνι Τρώων 13.266; λαοὶ ἀνὰ δῆμον 16.95: metaph., δῆμος ὀνείρων the land of dreams, 24.12.

2. the people, inhabitants of such a district, πόληΐ τε παντί τε δήμῳ Il. 3.50, cf. h.Cer. 271; Βακτρίων ἔρρει πανώλης δ. A. Pers. 732.


1. hence (since the common people lived in the country, the chiefs in the city), the commons, common people, δήμου ἀνήρ, opp. βασιλεύς, ἔξοχος ἀνήρ, etc., Il. 2.198, 188, cf. 11.328, Hes. Op. 261, Hdt. 5.66, Acts 12:22, etc. (rarely of a single person, δῆμον ἐόντα being a commoner, Il. 12.213); opp. οἱ εὐδαίμονες, Hdt. 1.196; opp. οἱ παχέες, Id. 5.30; opp. οἱ δυνατοί, Th. 5.4; οἱ.. ἐπαναστάντες τοῖς δυνατοῖς καὶ ὄντες δῆμος Id. 8.73; = Lat. plebs, D.H. 6.88, etc.; τοῦ πολλοῦ δ. εἷς unus de plebe, Luc. Sat. 2; τοῦ δ. ὤν Id. Gall. 22; in an army, rank and file, opp. officers, ὁ δ. τῶν στρατιωτῶν X. Cyr. 6.1.14.

2. metaph., δ. ἰχθύων Antiph. 206.7; τυράννων Philostr. VS 1.15.1; πιθήκων Id. VA 3.4; ὀρνέων Alciphr. 3.30.

III in a political sense,

1. the sovereign people, the free citizens, A. Th. 199, 1011, etc.; ὁ δ. ὁ Ἀθηναίων IG 12.10.37, etc.; προστάτης τοῦ δήμου Th. 6.35, etc.; personified, Ar. Eq. 42, al.; ἱερεὺς τοῦ Δ. καὶ τῶν Χαρίτων IG 22.1028.

2. popular government, democracy, opp. ὀλιγαρχίη, Hdt. 3.82; opp. οἱ τύραννοι, And. 1.106; πολίτεομα εἶναι ἐν Χίῳ δ. SIG 283.4 (iv B. C.); δήμου κατάλυσις X. HG 2.3.28, Arist. Ath. 8.4; ταῦτα καταλύει δῆμον, οὐ κωμῳδία Philippid. 25.7; δ. καταστῆσαι, καταπαύειν, X. HG 7.3.3, Th. 1.107: in pl., democracies, Id. 3.82, D. 20.15; δ. ὁ ἔσχατος Arist. Pol. 1277b3.

3. the popular assembly, λέγειν ἐν τῷ δ. Pl. R. 565b; ἡ βουλὴ καὶ ὁ δ., formula in Inscrr., as IG 12.39, etc.; of the assembly of Oxyrhynchus, POxy. 41.19 (iii/iv A. D.), 1407.19 (iii A. D.). township, commune (= Dor. κώμη acc. to Arist. Po. 1448a37; but διελόμενοι τὴν μὲν πόλιν κατὰ κώμας, τὴν δὲ χώραν κατὰ δήμους Isoc. 7.46, cf. Pl. Lg. 746d, and v. infr.), in Attica, Hdt. 5.69, Arist. Ath. 21.5, Str. 9.1.16, IG 12.76.9, al.; elsewh., ib.12(5).594 (Ceos), Phib. 1.28.13 (iii A. D.), OGI 49.14 (Ptolemais), etc.: Dor. δᾶμος, Michel 418.34 (Calymna), IG 12(1).58.23 (Lindos): in indications of origin, Σωφάνης ἐκ δ. Δεκελεῆθεν Hdt. 9.73; δήμου Ἁλαιεύς Antiph. 211; τῶν δήμων Πιτθεύς Pl. Euthphr. 2b; τῶν δ. Θορίκιος D. 39.30, cf. Arist. Ath. 21.4; ἐπιγράψαι τοὺς βουλευτὰς πατρόθεν καὶ τοῦ δ. IG 22.223 B 4: metaph., οἱ τῆς θαλάσσης δ. Philostr. Gym. 44. name for a prostitute, Archil. 184. faction in the circus, Tab.Defix.Aud. 15.8 (Syria, iii A. D.). = κατανάγκη, Ps.- Dsc. 4.131. (Perh. cognate with Skt. dâ´ti 'reap', δαίομαι, δατέομαι.)

Thayer's Expanded Definition

δῆμος, δήμου , the people, the mass of the people assembled in a public place: Acts 12:22; Acts 19:33; ἄγειν (R G), εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τόν δῆμον: Acts 17:5 (L T Tr WH προάγειν); Acts 19:30. (From Homer down.) [SYNONYMS: δῆμος, λαός: in classic Greek δῆμος denotes the people as organized into a body politic; λαός, the unorganized people at large. But in biblical Greek λαός, is used especially of the chosen people of God; δῆμος, on the other hand (found only in Acts) denotes the people of a heathen city. Cf. Trench, § xcviii.; Schmidt, chapter 199.]

Thayer's Expanded Greek Definition, Electronic Database.
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Abbott-Smith Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament

δῆλος , -ου , ,

[in LXX chiefly for H4940;]

1. a district, country.

2. the common people, the people generally; esp. the people assembled: Acts 12:22; Acts 17:5; Acts 19:30-31

SYN.: λαός G2992, the people at large: δ ., the people as a body politic; opp. to δ . is ὄχλος G3793, the unorganized multitude. ἔθνος G1484, in sing., means in NT as in Gk. writers generally, a nation, but in p1. denotes the rest of mankind apart from the Jews: Gentiles. λ . also, rare in cl. (Att... λεώς ), is freq. in LXX and NT, and usually limited to the chosen people, Israel (cf. Cl. Rev., i, 42 f.; Cremer, 689).

Abbott-Smith Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament.
Copyright © 1922 by G. Abbott-Smith, D.D., D.C.L.. T & T Clarke, London.
Vocabulary of the Greek NT

E. L. Hicks, in CR i. p. 42, draws the moral of the disuse of δῆμος in days when Greek freedom was extinct : where it does occur in NT (Acts 12:22; Acts 17:5; Acts 19:30; Acts 19:33) it suggests merely a rabble. Of course it occurs abundantly in Hellenistic inscrr. which record how the people passed complimentary resolutions or voted statues, by way of insisting that their local assembly was still in being. [For a defence of the interpretation of δῆμος in Acts as a technical term denoting a political body, see Ferguson, Legal Terms common to the Macedonian Inscriptions and the NT, Chicago, p. 38 ff.] But except in the technical sense of ";commune,"; ";parish"; (still in LXX and MGr), the word was not wanted for practical purposes. Its appearances in the papyri support this account. P Oxy I. 41 bis (iii/iv A.D.) gives the acclamations of ὁ δῆμος at Oxyrhynchus, in honour of their prytanis. Ib. III. 473.2 (A.D. 138–60) ἔδοξε τοῖς τῆς λαμπροτάτης πόλεως τῶν Ὀξυρυγχ ]ιτῶν ἄρχουσι καὶ τῷ δήμῳ [καὶ Ῥ ]ω ̣μαίων καὶ Ἀλεξανδρέων τοῖς παρεπιδημοῦσι to set up a statue of a gymnasiarch whose ";unstinted provision of unguents,"; contribution to the fund for theatrical displays, and his restoration of the baths and the ";greater thermae"; had earned the popular gratitude : this will serve as a normal specimen of honorific decrees. In P Hib I. 28.13, .15, .17 (c. B.C. 265) δῆμος is the twelfth part of a φυλή , and contains twelve φρᾶτραι , so that the (unnamed) Egyptian town contains sixty of these ";demes"; or wards. So in P Amh II. 36.4 (c.B.C. 135) παρὰ Δ [ρ ]ύτωνος τοῦ Πα [μ ]φίλου Κρητὸς δήμου Φιλωτ [ερ ]είου . These, which are the only occurrences of δῆμος in the whole series of papyri edited by Dr Grenfell or Dr Hunt up to date, will suffice to illustrate its position, unless we add the ";poetry"; of P Giss I. 3.2 in which Phœbus acclaims the accession of Hadrian—ἅρματι λευκο ̣πώλωι Ἄρει Τραϊαν [ῶι ] συνανατείλας ἥκω σοι , ὦ δῆμ [ε .



The Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament.
Copyright © 1914, 1929, 1930 by James Hope Moulton and George Milligan. Hodder and Stoughton, London.
Derivative Copyright © 2015 by Allan Loder.
List of Word Forms
δήμοι δήμοις δημον δήμον δῆμον δημος δήμος δῆμος δήμου δήμους δημω δήμω δήμῳ δήμων demo dēmō dḗmoi dḗmōi demon dêmon dēmon dē̂mon demos dêmos dēmos dē̂mos
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