Humanities › History & Culture Spartan Share Flipboard Email Print Hoplite. Clipart.com History & Culture Ancient History and Culture Greece Figures & Events Ancient Languages Egypt Asia Rome Mythology & Religion American History African American History African History Asian History European History Genealogy Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By N.S. Gill Ancient History and Latin Expert M.A., Linguistics, University of Minnesota B.A., Latin, University of Minnesota N.S. Gill is a Latinist, writer, and teacher of ancient history and Latin. She has been featured by NPR and National Geographic for her ancient history expertise. our editorial process N.S. Gill Updated March 08, 2017 Definition: Spartan refers to a citizen of the ancient Greek polis of Sparta, sometimes called Lacedaemonia, but is also an adjective referring to the city, its people, and people who behave in a manner thought to be similar to that of the early Spartans. Specifically, when the word spartan is used it may mean that someone is cheap/frugal, lives without luxury, speaks laconically (another descriptive word based on ancient Spartan geography), or behaves with immense bravery as in the Spartan hoplites who faced impossible odds against the Persians at the Battle of Thermopylae. Examples: Stereotypically, a monastic or prison cell is spartan in its furnishings.After both parents are laid off, chances are the family's weekly meal plan will become Spartan.Sometimes I wish my more garrulous friends could be a bit more Spartan.The movie '300' showed how spartan the Spartans could be in the face of impossible odds.