Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A member of an Aegean people who settled ancient Philistia around the 12th century B.C.
  • n. A smug, ignorant, especially middle-class person who is regarded as being indifferent or antagonistic to artistic and cultural values.
  • n. One who lacks knowledge in a specific area.
  • adj. Of or relating to ancient Philistia.
  • adj. Boorish; barbarous: "our plastic, violent culture, with its philistine tastes and hunger for novelty” ( Lloyd Rose).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person from ancient Philistia.
  • n. A person who lacks appreciation of art or culture.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to the ancient Philistines.
  • adj. Lacking appreciation of culture; also philistine.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to the Philistines.
  • adj. Uncultured; commonplace.
  • n. A native or an inhabitant of ancient Philistia, a coast region of southern Palestine.
  • n. A bailiff.
  • n. A person deficient in liberal culture and refinement; one without appreciation of the nobler aspirations and sentiments of humanity; one whose scope is limited to selfish and material interests.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of or pertaining to the ancient Philistines.
  • Of or pertaining to or having the characteristics of Philistines in the modern social and literary sense (see the noun, def. 3.); commonplace; dully matter-of-fact and satisfied; conventional and unimaginative.
  • n. One of a warlike immigrant people, of disputed origin, who inhabited parts of Philistia or Palestine, and contested the possession and sovereignty of it with the Israelites, and continued to harass them with much persistency for several centuries.
  • n. Hence A heathen enemy; an unfeeling foe: used humorously, for example, of a bailiff or sheriff's officer.
  • n. In Germany, one who has not been trained in a university: so called by the students.
  • n.
  • n. A matter-of-fact, commonplace person; a man upon whom one can look down, as of culture inferior to one's own; one of “parochial” intellect; a satisfied person who is unaware of his own lack of culture.

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

  • n. a person who is uninterested in intellectual pursuits
  • n. a member of an Aegean people who settled ancient Philistia around the 12th century BC
  • adj. of or relating to ancient Philistia or its culture or its people
  • adj. smug and ignorant and indifferent or hostile to artistic and cultural values

Etymologies

From Middle English Philistines, Philistines, from Late Latin Philistīnī, from Greek Philistīnoi, from Hebrew Pəlištîm, from Pəlešet, Philistia.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Late Latin Philistinus, from Late Ancient Greek Φυλιστῖνοι (Phulistinoi), from Hebrew פְּלִשְׁתִּים (p'lishtím), from פְּלֶשֶׁת (p'léshet, "Philistia"). (Wiktionary)

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