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byzantine Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a native or inhabitant of Byzantium or of the Byzantine Empire
  2. adjective of or relating to the Eastern Orthodox Church or the rites performed in it
    • Byzantine monks
    • Byzantine rites
  3. adjective of or relating to or characteristic of the Byzantine Empire or the ancient city of Byzantium
  4. adjective satellite highly complex or intricate and occasionally devious
    tortuous; tangled; convoluted; involved; knotty.
    • the Byzantine tax structure
    • 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"- Sir Walter Scott
    • tortuous legal procedures
    • tortuous negotiations lasting for months

By*zan"tine adjective
  1. Of or pertaining to Byzantium. -- n. A native or inhabitant of Byzantium, now Constantinople; sometimes, applied to an inhabitant of the modern city of Constantinople. Written also Bizantine. Its leading forms are the round arch, the dome, the pillar, the circle, and the cross. The capitals of the pillars are the endless variety, and full of invention. The mosque of St. Sophia, Constantinople, and the church of St. Mark, Venice, are prominent examples of Byzantine architecture.

Webster 1913