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.​


  1. Stereotypically, a monastic or prison cell is spartan in its furnishings.
  2. After both parents are laid off, chances are the family's weekly meal plan will become Spartan.
  3. Sometimes I wish my more garrulous friends could be a bit more Spartan.
  4. The movie '300' showed how spartan the Spartans could be in the face of impossible odds.
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Your Citation
Gill, N.S. "Spartan." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, Gill, N.S. (2020, August 26). Spartan. Retrieved from Gill, N.S. "Spartan." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 10, 2023).