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[gib-uh-lin, -leen] /ˈgɪb ə lɪn, -ˌlin/
a member of the aristocratic party in medieval Italy and Germany that supported the claims of the German emperors against the papacy: politically opposed to the Guelphs.
of or relating to the Ghibellines.
Origin of Ghibelline
1565-75; < Italian Ghibellino < Middle High German *wībeling- (German Waiblingen) a Hohenstaufen estate in Germany
Related forms
Ghibellinism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for Ghibelline
Historical Examples
  • It and the whole of the Piazza, then but a third of its present area, were enclosed by a strong wall with Ghibelline battlements.

    Venice and its Story Thomas Okey
  • The town was fairly torn up with these nursery Guelph and Ghibelline wars.

    In a Little Town Rupert Hughes
  • The death-struggle between Guelph and Ghibelline had reached its highest crest.

    The Hill of Venus Nathan Gallizier
  • But this epoch of Ghibelline prepotency in Tuscany was brief.

  • Consequently he had great influence with the people, was a Ghibelline and the declared enemy of Florence.

  • After all, what was the difference between Guelf and Ghibelline?

    The Browning Cyclopdia Edward Berdoe
  • Rome is as Ghibelline at this hour as if the Pope had lived forever at Viterbo!

    The Hill of Venus Nathan Gallizier
  • The enmity between these two may have had a Guelph and Ghibelline origin.

    Rome Mildred Anna Rosalie Tuker
  • He had resolved to reconcile the Guelf and Ghibelline factions.

    The Browning Cyclopdia Edward Berdoe
  • The ablest writer of the Ghibelline party was Marsilius of Padua.

    The History of Freedom John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton
British Dictionary definitions for Ghibelline


/ˈɡɪbɪˌlaɪn; -ˌliːn/
a member of the political faction in medieval Italy originally based on support for the German emperor
(modifier) of or relating to the Ghibellines Compare Guelph1
Derived Forms
Ghibellinism, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Italian Ghibellino, probably from Middle High German Waiblingen, a Hohenstaufen estate
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Ghibelline

adherent of the emperor in medieval Italy, 1570s, from German Waiblingen, seat of the Hohenstaufens in Württemberg. The name was said to have been used as a rallying cry by partisans of Conrad III at the Battle of Weinsberg (1140). See Guelph.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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