Share this entry

Share this page

Phoenician

Line breaks: Phoen|ician
Pronunciation: /fəˈnɪʃ(ə)n
 
, -ˈniː-/

Definition of Phoenician in English:

noun

1A member of a Semitic people inhabiting ancient Phoenicia and its colonies. The Phoenicians prospered from trade and manufacturing until the capital, Tyre, was sacked by Alexander the Great in 332 bc.
Example sentences
  • Once the trade capital of East Africa, Zanzibar attracted Sumerians, Assyrians, Phoenicians, Arabs, Chinese and Malays, giving the city a distinct culture and history from mainland Tanzania.
  • In ancient times the islands were inhabited by the Phoenicians and Carthaginians.
  • Carthage was a city-state on the Greek model that had been founded by Phoenicians from Tyre in the 8th century.
2 [mass noun] The Semitic language of the Phoenicians, written in an alphabet that was the ancestor of the Greek and Roman alphabets.
Example sentences
  • It was the ultimate ancestor of all later alphabets, such as those used for Phoenician, Hebrew, Greek, Arabic, Latin, English, French, Russian, the languages of the Indian subcontinent, and those of Ethiopia.
  • Thus it is much closer to other Northwest Semitic languages such as Hebrew or Phoenician, than to languages outside that group, such as Arabic or Babylonian.
  • I mean, it's from the Amorites and from the Arcadians ever earlier that we have the Semitic language coming in, which is the basis for Phoenician, for Aramaic, for Hebrew and for the Arabic languages.

adjective

Back to top  
Relating to Phoenicia, its people, or its language.
Example sentences
  • The Phoenician colony of Carthage became an imperial centre in its own right, and Greek cities such as Syracuse, in Sicily, rivalled the biggest of the city-states in Greece.
  • There is speculation that the island site destroyed by Esarhaddon and by later further earthquakes may have contained the palace of the Phoenician king and other Phoenician buildings and fortifications.
  • Exiled during his youth, which fell in a period of Phoenician domination, he gathered some 50 followers at Soli in Cilicia, and with their help established himself as ruler of Salamis in 411.

Definition of Phoenician 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 terpsichorean
Pronunciation: ˌtəːpsɪkəˈriːən
adjective
relating to dancing