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[pan-krey-shee-uh m] /pænˈkreɪ ʃi əm/
noun, plural pancratia
[pan-krey-shee-uh] /pænˈkreɪ ʃi ə/ (Show IPA)
(in ancient Greece) an athletic contest combining wrestling and boxing.
1595-1605; < Latin < Greek pankrátion all-power exercise (noun use of neuter adj.), equivalent to pan- pan- + krát(os) strength, mastery + -ion, neuter of -ios adj. suffix
Related forms
[pan-krat-ik] /pænˈkræt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for pancratium


noun (pl) -tia (-ʃɪə)
(in ancient Greece) a wrestling and boxing contest
Derived Forms
pancratic (pænˈkrætɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C17: via Latin from Greek pankration, from pan- + kratos strength
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for pancratium

ancient Greek sports event that combined boxing and wrestling, introduced at the Xxxiii Olympiad (648 BC). Simple fisticuffs had been introduced in 688 BC. Particularly popular among Spartans, contests were savage, with hitting, kicking, twisting of limbs, strangling, and struggling on the ground allowed. The only recognized fouls were biting and gouging. A contest ended when one of the fighters acknowledged defeat.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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