Share this entry

Share this page

Palestine

Line breaks: Pal¦es|tine
Pronunciation: /ˈpalɪstʌɪn
 
/

Definition of Palestine in English:

A territory in the Middle East on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea.

In biblical times Palestine comprised the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. The land was controlled at various times by the Egyptian, Assyrian, Persian, and Roman empires before being conquered by the Arabs in ad 634. It was part of the Ottoman Empire from 1516 to 1918. The name Palestine was used as the official political title for the land west of the Jordan mandated to Britain in 1920; in 1948 the state of Israel was established in what was traditionally Palestine, but the name continued to be used in the context of the struggle for territory and political rights of displaced Palestinian Arabs. The first Palestinian intifada or uprising against Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip broke out in 1987; in 1993 an agreement was signed between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization giving some autonomy to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank and setting up the Palestine National Authority, but this proved unsuccessful in bringing the conflict to a resolution

Origin

from Greek Palaistinē (used in early Christian writing), from Latin (Syria) Palaestina (the name of a Roman province), from Philistia 'land of the Philistines'.

More
  • philistine from (Late Middle English):

    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.

Words that rhyme with Palestine

FrankensteinPhilistine

Definition of Palestine in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day cumbersome
Pronunciation: ˈkʌmbəs(ə)m
adjective
large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…