An example of a Philistine is someone who lived in ancient Philistia and continually was at war with the Islaelites.
An example of a philistine is someone who doesn't want his money used to support a local symphony orchestra.
Other Word Forms
Origin of philistine
- 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
- 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 Late Latin Philistinus, from Late Ancient Greek Φυλιστῖνοι (Phulistinoi), from Hebrew פְּלִשְׁתִּים (p'lishtím), from פְּלֶשֶׁת (p'léshet, “Philistia").