from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • Often called “the Holy Land.” A historic region of southwest Asia at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea, roughly coextensive with modern Israel and the West Bank. Inhabited since prehistoric times, it has been ruled by Hebrews, Egyptians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, and Turks. Britain administered the area under a League of Nations mandate after 1920. When Israel declared its independence in 1948, Jordan and Egypt occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, areas the United Nations partition plan for the region had reserved for a Palestinian Arab state. In a 1967 war Israel captured the Palestinian territories from Jordan and Egypt and began establishing Jewish communities there. The Palestinians gained limited self-rule in the occupied territories with the signing of the Oslo accords (1993, 1995). Israel withdrew its settlers and ground troops from the Gaza Strip in 2005, retaining control over much of the West Bank despite continuing Palestinian resistance.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • proper noun The West Bank and Gaza Strip, taken collectively; that is, the parts occupied by Israel and those under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian National Authority.
  • proper noun Country established ib west bank and gaza strip. State of Palestine
  • proper noun geography The region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.
  • proper noun historical The Roman province Palestina.
  • proper noun historical, technical A British colonial entity administering approximately the lands of modern State of Israel plus the West Bank and Gaza Strip; the lands administered by this entity.
  • proper noun historical, technical, rare The British League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, of which this region was a part (the remainder being Transjordan, which covered approximately the lands of the modern Kingdom (originally Emirate) of Jordan).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an ancient country in southwestern Asia on the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea; a place of pilgrimage for Christianity and Islam and Judaism
  • noun a former British mandate on the east coast of the Mediterranean; divided between Jordan and Israel in 1948


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin Palaestīna ("Roman province of Palestine"), from Ancient Greek Παλαιστίνη (Palaistinē), from Hebrew פְּלֶשֶׁת (p'léshet, "Philistia, land of the Philistines"); revived as a political territorial name in 1920 for the British Mandate.


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