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philistine

[fil-uh-steen, -stahyn, fi-lis-tin, -teen] /ˈfɪl əˌstin, -ˌstaɪn, fɪˈlɪs tɪn, -tin/
noun
1.
(sometimes initial capital letter) a person who is lacking in or hostile or smugly indifferent to cultural values, intellectual pursuits, aesthetic refinement, etc., or is contentedly commonplace in ideas and tastes.
2.
(initial capital letter) a native or inhabitant of ancient Philistia.
adjective
3.
(sometimes initial capital letter) lacking in or hostile to culture.
4.
smugly commonplace or conventional.
5.
(initial capital letter) of or belonging to the ancient Philistines.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English < Late Latin Philistīnī (plural) < Late Greek Philistînoi < Hebrew pəlishtīm
Related forms
philistinism
[fil-uh-stee-niz-uh m, -stahy-, fi-lis-tuh-niz-uh m, -tee-] /ˈfɪl ə stiˌnɪz əm, -staɪ-, fɪˈlɪs təˌnɪz əm, -ti-/ (Show IPA),
noun
Synonyms
1. Babbitt, vulgarian. 3. lowbrow.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for philistines

Philistine

/ˈfɪlɪˌstaɪn/
noun
1.
a person who is unreceptive to or hostile towards culture, the arts, etc; a smug boorish person
2.
a member of the non-Semitic people who inhabited ancient Philistia
adjective
3.
(sometimes not capital) boorishly uncultured
4.
of or relating to the ancient Philistines
Derived Forms
Philistinism (ˈfɪlɪstɪˌnɪzəm) noun
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 philistines

Philistine

Old Testament people of coastal Palestine who made war on the Israelites, early 14c., from Old French Philistin, from Late Latin Philistinus, from Late Greek Philistinoi (plural), from Hebrew P'lishtim, "people of P'lesheth" ("Philistia"); cf. Akkad. Palastu, Egyptian Palusata; the word probably is the people's name for itself.

philistine

n.

"person deficient in liberal culture," 1827, originally in Carlyle, popularized by him and Matthew Arnold, from German Philister "enemy of God's word," literally "Philistine," inhabitants of a Biblical land, neighbors (and enemies) of Israel (see Philistine). Popularized in German student slang (supposedly first in Jena, late 17c.) as a contemptuous term for "townies," and hence, by extension, "any uncultured person." Philistine had been used in a humorous figurative sense of "the enemy" in English from c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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philistines in Culture
Philistines [(fil-uh-steenz, fi-lis-tinz, fi-lis-teenz)]

In the Old Testament, enemies of the Israelites in their settlement in the Promised Land. (See David and Samson.)

Note: A “philistine” has come to mean a person who is ignorant and uncultured.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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philistines in the Bible

(Gen. 10:14, R.V.; but in A.V., "Philistim"), a tribe allied to the Phoenicians. They were a branch of the primitive race which spread over the whole district of the Lebanon and the valley of the Jordan, and Crete and other Mediterranean islands. Some suppose them to have been a branch of the Rephaim (2 Sam. 21:16-22). In the time of Abraham they inhabited the south-west of Judea, Abimelech of Gerar being their king (Gen. 21:32, 34; 26:1). They are, however, not noticed among the Canaanitish tribes mentioned in the Pentateuch. They are spoken of by Amos (9:7) and Jeremiah (47:4) as from Caphtor, i.e., probably Crete, or, as some think, the Delta of Egypt. In the whole record from Exodus to Samuel they are represented as inhabiting the tract of country which lay between Judea and Egypt (Ex. 13:17; 15:14, 15; Josh. 13:3; 1 Sam. 4). This powerful tribe made frequent incursions against the Hebrews. There was almost perpetual war between them. They sometimes held the tribes, especially the southern tribes, in degrading servitude (Judg. 15:11; 1 Sam. 13:19-22); at other times they were defeated with great slaughter (1 Sam. 14:1-47; 17). These hostilities did not cease till the time of Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:8), when they were entirely subdued. They still, however, occupied their territory, and always showed their old hatred to Israel (Ezek. 25:15-17). They were finally conquered by the Romans. The Philistines are called Pulsata or Pulista on the Egyptian monuments; the land of the Philistines (Philistia) being termed Palastu and Pilista in the Assyrian inscriptions. They occupied the five cities of Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron, and Gath, in the south-western corner of Canaan, which belonged to Egypt up to the closing days of the Nineteenth Dynasty. The occupation took place during the reign of Rameses III. of the Twentieth Dynasty. The Philistines had formed part of the great naval confederacy which attacked Egypt, but were eventually repulsed by that Pharaoh, who, however, could not dislodge them from their settlements in Palestine. As they did not enter Palestine till the time of the Exodus, the use of the name Philistines in Gen. 26:1 must be proleptic. Indeed the country was properly Gerar, as in ch. 20. They are called Allophyli, "foreigners," in the Septuagint, and in the Books of Samuel they are spoken of as uncircumcised. It would therefore appear that they were not of the Semitic race, though after their establishment in Canaan they adopted the Semitic language of the country. We learn from the Old Testament that they came from Caphtor, usually supposed to be Crete. From Philistia the name of the land of the Philistines came to be extended to the whole of "Palestine." Many scholars identify the Philistines with the Pelethites of 2 Sam. 8:18.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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