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Thermopylae

[ther-mop-uh-lee] /θərˈmɒp əˌli/
noun
1.
a pass in E Greece, between the cliffs of Mt. Oeta and the Gulf of Lamia: Persian defeat of the Spartans 480 b.c.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for Thermopylae

Thermopylae

/θəˈmɒpəˌliː/
noun
1.
(in ancient Greece) a narrow pass between the mountains and the sea linking Locris and Thessaly: a defensible position on a traditional invasion route from N Greece; scene of a famous battle (480 bc) in which a greatly outnumbered Greek army under Leonidas fought to the death to delay the advance of the Persians during their attempted conquest of Greece
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for Thermopylae

from Greek thermos "hot" (see thermal) + pylai, plural of pyle "gate; mountain pass, entrance into a region" (see pylon). In reference to nearby hot sulfur springs. Often simply hai pylai "the gates."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for Thermopylae

narrow pass on the east coast of central Greece between the Kallidhromon massif and the Maliakos Gulf, about 85 miles (136 km) northwest of Athens. In antiquity its cliffs were by the sea, but silting has widened the distance to more than a mile. Its name, meaning "hot gates," is derived from its hot sulfur springs

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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