There are 2 main definitions of philistine in English:

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philistine1

Line breaks: phil¦is|tine
Pronunciation: /ˈfɪlɪstʌɪn
 
/

noun

A person who is hostile or indifferent to culture and the arts: I am a complete philistine when it comes to paintings
More example sentences
  • I'm a bit of philistine when it comes to art; I don't have much time for it and art galleries make me feel sleepy.
  • Of course, I guess it's possible that these books are all pretty well known to literate Americans and I'm just a philistine.
  • Ignore the doom-mongers and philistines - it is both possible and desirable to rescue Venice from sinking into the sea.

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
  • Beneath this undercurrent of grumbling is the philistine assumption that it is elitist or irrelevant to consider art which does not excite the mass market.
  • And as yet another example of perhaps the only serious British contribution to 20th century architecture faces demolition, is there any other art form about which we could be so utterly, wilfully philistine?
  • The policy is philistine, expensive and environmentally disastrous.

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.

Derivatives

philistinism

1
Pronunciation: /ˈfɪlɪstɪnɪz(ə)m/
noun
Example sentences
  • Their libertarianism was more aesthetic than political, an assertion of personal autonomy against repressive philistinism.
  • When cultural studies denigrates literature as elitist, this is hard to distinguish from a long national tradition of bourgeois philistinism.
  • She was also accused of philistinism, particularly because of a remark she made at a private dinner party, disloyally leaked by a fellow guest.

Definition of philistine in:

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There are 2 main definitions of philistine in English:

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Philistine2

Line breaks: Phil¦is|tine
Pronunciation: /ˈfɪlɪstʌɪn
 
/

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.

The Philistines, from whom the country of Palestine took its name, were one of the Sea Peoples who, according to the Bible, 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

FrankensteinPalestine

Definition of philistine in:

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