Philistine Definition

fĭlĭ-stēn, fĭ-lĭstĭn, -tēn
A member of a non-Semitic people that lived in Philistia and repeatedly warred with the Israelites.
Webster's New World
A person regarded as smugly narrow and conventional in views and tastes, lacking in and indifferent to cultural and aesthetic values.
Webster's New World
Alternative capitalization of Philistine.
Of the ancient Philistines or their culture.
Webster's New World
Relating to or having the attitudes of a philistine.
American Heritage
Smugly conventional and lacking in culture.
Webster's New World

Other Word Forms of Philistine



Origin of Philistine

  • The sense relating to lack of education and culture was introduced to English by Thomas Carlyle and greatly popularised by Matthew Arnold. It is derived from German student use of the term Philister to refer to the burghers of the town. This apparently derived from the use of the biblical text "the Philistines be upon you, Samson" in a memorial service for a Jena university student who died as the result of a town vs. gown dispute in 1693.

    From Wiktionary

  • From Middle English Philistines Philistines from Late Latin Philistīnī from Greek Philistīnoi from Hebrew Pəlištîm from Pəlešet , Philistia

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Late Latin Philistinus, from Late Ancient Greek Φυλιστῖνοι (Phulistinoi), from Hebrew פְּלִשְׁתִּים (p'lishtím), from פְּלֶשֶׁת (p'léshet, “Philistia").

    From Wiktionary

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