There are 2 main definitions of philistine in English:

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philistine 1

Syllabification: phil·is·tine
Pronunciation: /ˈfiləˌstēn/

noun

A person who is hostile or indifferent to culture and the arts, or who has no understanding of them: I am a complete philistine when it comes to paintings
More example sentences
  • Seeing his work here does give some context, even if I am a complete philistine when it comes to paintings.
  • Creative expression never needs to justify itself to philistines, who from time out of mind have never seen art as "serious."
  • When asked how long they spent making something, most artists assume that the questioner is a philistine.

adjective

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Hostile or indifferent to culture and the arts: a philistine government there were displays to inspire even the most philistine of visitors
More example sentences
  • We are worried that the building - just before its centenary - will be traded by philistine property speculators.
  • "I don't think Joe Public is quite as philistine as is imagined," he murmurs.
  • Already this year, the city has revealed itself to be unusually philistine in the fields of architecture and art.

Derivatives

philistinism

1
Pronunciation: /ˈfiləst(ə)nizəm/
noun

Origin

Early 19th century: from Philistine, originally with reference to a confrontation between university students and townspeople in Jena, Germany, in the late 17th century; a sermon on the conflict quoted “the Philistines are upon you” (Judges 16), which led to an association between the townspeople and those hostile to culture.

More
  • There is no reason to believe that the Philistines were philistines. In biblical times, during the 11th and 12th centuries bc, they were a people who occupied the southern coast of Palestine and who frequently came into conflict with the Israelites. The first book of Samuel tells the story of David and Goliath, a Philistine giant, and Judges relates Delilah's betrayal of Samson to the Philistines. In the late 17th century students in the university town of Jena in Germany, bearing these passages in mind, started using Philister (German for ‘Philistine’) as an insulting name for a townsperson or non-student. By the 1820s English travellers had made this German university slang familiar, and people began to use philistine for ‘an uncultured person’. The word itself goes back to the same root as Palestine.

Definition of philistine in:

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There are 2 main definitions of philistine in English:

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Philistine 2 Syllabification: Phil·is·tine
Pronunciation: /ˈfiləˌstēn/ /-ˌstīn/

noun

A member of a non-Semitic people of ancient southern Palestine, who came into conflict with the Israelites during the 12th and 11th centuries bc.
Example sentences
  • The Canaanites suffered a series of setbacks in the late 2nd millennium bc with attacks from the sea peoples in the north while in the south they were displaced by the Israelites and the Philistines.
  • Yet in the end, the sculpture works its magic; just as the biblical David defeated the ancient Philistines, his statue conquers the modern American philistines.
  • When the Israelites asked for a king to lead them against the Philistines, Samuel warned them that he would become a tyrant.

According to the Bible, the Philistines, from whom the country of Palestine took its name, came from Crete and settled the southern coastal plain of Canaan in the 12th century bc

Origin

Old English: from late Latin Philistinus from Greek Philistinos, from Hebrew pĕlištī: compare with Palestine. See also philistine.

Words that rhyme with Philistine

Frankenstein • Palestine

Definition of philistine in:

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