Thermopylae proper n

Gk thermos, hot + Gk pulai, gates, doors, refers to hot sulphur springs.

  1. Greek battle site; narrow mountain pass between Thessaly and Locris; place where a small Greek force temporarily withheld a Persian invasion in 480 B.C.; [fig.] hero; obedient warrior; memorial for soldiers; inscription that reads “go tell it to the Spartan strangers passing by, that here, obedient to their laws we lie” (see ED letters).