Core Vocabulary of key Greek words

Depending on context, adjectives in -os (masculine), may be given with other endings:
(feminine), -on (neuter), -oi (masculine plural), -ai (feminine plural), -a (neuter plural).
agathos ‘good, noble’
agōn, plural agōnes ‘coming together, bringing together, gathering, assembly; competition (antagonism); ordeal (agony).
agorā, plural agorai ‘public assembly, place of public assembly’
aidōs ‘shame, sense of shame; sense of respect for others; modesty; honorableness’
ainos ‘authoritative utterance for and by a social group’ (see also Hour 2§§60, 72; Hour 7§7; Hour 16§7); ‘praise; fable’; ainigma ‘riddle, enigma’
aitios ‘responsible, guilty’; aitiā ‘responsibility, guilt; cause, case’
akhos ‘grief, sorrow; public expression of grief, sorrow, by way of lamentation or keening’; synonym of penthos
alēthēs (adjective) ‘true’; alētheia (noun) ‘truth’
aphthito- ‘imperishable, unfailing, unwilting’
aretē ‘striving for a noble goal, for high ideals; noble goal, high ideals; merit’
aristos ‘best’, superlative of agathos; aristeiā: designates the hero’s great epic moments that demonstrate his being aristos
atē, plural atai ‘aberration, derangement, veering off-course; disaster; punishment for disaster’
āthlos (aethlos) ‘ordeal, contest; labor; competition’; āthlētēs ‘athlete’
biā (biē in the language of Homeric poetry) ‘force, violence’
daimōn, plural daimones ‘superhuman force (= unspecified god or hero) intervening in human life’; eudaimoniā ‘good blessing of superhuman powers; good fortune’
daimonion ‘a superhuman thing’ (see Hour 22§§1-2)
dēmos, plural dēmoi ‘district, locale; population of a district, locale; community’
dikē, plural dikai ‘judgment (short-range); justice (long-range)’; dikaios ‘just’
ekhthros ‘enemy [within the community], non-philos
epos, plural epea ‘word(s) said, utterance, poetic utterance’
eris ‘strife, conflict, competition’
esthlos ‘genuine, good, noble’; synonym of agathos
genos ‘stock (“breeding”); generating [of something or someone]; progeny; generation’
hērōs, plural hērōes ‘hero’
hēsukhos ‘serene’; hēsukhiā ‘state of being hēsukhos; composure
hieros ‘sacred, consecrated, holy’
hōrā, plural hōrai ‘season, seasonality, the right time, the perfect time; beauty’
hubris ‘outrage’; the opposite of dikē
kakos ‘bad, evil, base, worthless, ignoble’; kakotēs ‘state of being kakos; debasement’
kamatos ‘ordeal, labor, pain’
kerdos, plural kerdea ‘gain, profit; desire for gain; craft employed for gain; craftiness; craft’
kharis, plural kharites ‘reciprocity, give-and-take, compensation, reciprocal relationship; initiation of reciprocal relationship; the beauty (as in the word “gracefulness”) and the pleasure (as in the word “gratification”) that result from reciprocity, from a reciprocal relationship (as in the word “graciousness”); grace, gracefulness, charm; gratification; graciousness; favor, favorableness; gratitude’
khoros ‘chorus’ = ‘group of singers/dancers’
kleos, plural klea ‘glory, fame (especially as conferred by poetry or song); that which is heard’
kolōnos ‘tumulus’ (see Hour 18§§1-8)
koros ‘being satiated; being insatiable’
kosmos ‘arrangement, order, organization; law and order, the social order; the cosmic order; the orderliness of a person’s costume, hairdo; the orderliness of a group, of society, of the cosmos, of a song’
krinein ‘judge, distinguish, make distinctions; decide; interpret; sort out’
lyssa [or, more accurately, lussa] ‘rage, fury, frenzy’. This word is related to lykos ‘wolf’ [or, more accurately, lukos]; so the image is one of ‘wolfish rage’
mantis ‘seer, prophet’
memnēmai ‘I have total recall’ (see Hour 2§1)
mēnis ‘superhuman anger; cosmic sanction’
menos ‘power, power source, strength, life-force, activation’ (divinely infused into cosmic forces, like fire and wind, or into heroes); a partial synonym of thūmos; a partial synonym of mēnis
mētis ‘artifice, stratagem, craft, craftiness, intelligence, cunning intelligence’
miasma ‘pollution, miasma’
moira, plural moirai ‘portion; portion of meat divided at a sacrifice; lot in life, fate, destiny’
mūthos ‘wording, words; special speech; special wording; something said for the record’ (see Hour 1§36, in the commentary for Hour 1 Text C); ‘authoritative speech-act’ (see Hour 15§57); ‘myth’ (see Hour 24§§7-9)’
nemesis indicates the process whereby everyone gets what he or she deserves
nēpios, plural nēpioi ‘disconnected’ (the disconnection can be mental, moral, or emotional); on this meaning, see Edmunds 1990
nomos, plural nomoi ‘local custom; customary law; law’
noos ‘mind, thinking; perception; intuition; consciousness’; also, this word stands for the principle that reintegrates thūmos (or menos) and psūkhē after death
nostos ‘return, homecoming; song about homecoming; safe homecoming; return to light and life’
oikos ‘house, dwelling, abode; resting place of cult hero; family line’; verb oikeîn ‘have a dwelling’
olbios ‘blessed, blissful; fortunate, prosperous, happy’; olbos ‘bliss’ (ordinarily pictured as material security)
paskhein ‘suffer, experience, be treated [badly or well]’; pathos ‘suffering, experience; emotion’ (see Hour 21§§8-10)
penthos ‘grief, sorrow; public expression of grief, sorrow, by way of lamentation or keening’; synonym of akhos
philos ‘friend’ (noun); ‘dear, near-and-dear, belonging to self’ (adjective); philotēs or philiā ‘the state of being philos’
phrēn, plural phrenes: physical localization of the thūmos; depending on the context, can be translated as either ‘mind’ (‘thinking’) or ‘heart’ (‘feeling’)
polis ‘city, city-state; citadel, acropolis’
ponos ‘ordeal, labor, pain’
pontos ‘sea; crossing’ (see Hour 24§§20-32)
pothos ‘longing, yearning, desire’; a variant form is pothē, with the same meaning; the verb derived from this noun is potheîn ‘long for, yearn for, desire’
psūkhē, plural psūkhai ‘life, life’s breath; spirit; soul; mind’; synonym of thūmos (or menos) at the moment of death; in Homeric Greek, this word refers to the essence of life when one is alive and to the disembodied conveyor of identity when one is dead
sēma, plural sēmata ‘sign, signal, symbol; tomb’; sēmainein (verb) ‘mean something, indicate something by way of a sēma
sophos ‘skilled, skilled in understanding special language’; sophiā ‘being sophos’
sōphrōn ‘moderate, balanced, with equilibrium’; sōphrosunē ‘being sōphrōn’
sōtēr ‘savior’ (either ‘bringing to safety’ or, mystically, ‘bringing back to life’); sōtēriā ‘safety, salvation’
sōzein ‘save; be a sōtēr (for someone)’
stasis ‘division in a group; discord, strife; division [= part of an organization, like a chorus]; dancing pose’
telos ‘end, ending, final moment; goal, completion, fulfillment; coming full circle, rounding out; successfully passing through an ordeal; initiation; ritual, rite’
themis, plural themistes ‘something divinely or cosmically ordained; divine law; cosmic law’
theōriā ‘sacred journey, pilgrimage; contemplation of the divine’ (see Hour 23§§1-8)
therapōn, plural therapontes ‘attendant; ritual substitute’
thūmos ‘mind, thinking; heart, spirit’ (designates realm of consciousness, of rational and emotional functions); depending on the context, can be translated as either ‘mind’ (‘thinking’) or ‘heart’ (‘feeling’)
tīmē, plural tīmai ‘honor; honor paid to a superhuman force by way of cult’
turannos, plural turannoi (Lydian word for ‘king’): ‘king’ (from the viewpoint of most Greek dynasties); ‘unconstitutional ruler’ (from the viewpoint of Greek democracy: see Hour 19§6)
xenos, plural xenoi ‘stranger who should be treated like a guest by a host, or like a host by a guest’; xeniā ‘reciprocal relationship between xenoi’; when the rules of xeniā do not work, a xenos risks defaulting to the status of simply ‘stranger’