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good Samaritan

or Good Samaritan

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noun
  1. a person who gratuitously gives help or sympathy to those in distress. Luke 10:30–37.

Origin of good Samaritan

First recorded in 1840–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for good samaritan

Good Samaritan

noun
  1. New Testament a figure in one of Christ's parables (Luke 10:30–37) who is an example of compassion towards those in distress
  2. a kindly person who helps another in difficulty or distress
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

good samaritan in Culture

Good Samaritan

[(suh-mar-uh-tuhn)]

In one of the parables of Jesus, the only one of several passersby to come to the aid of a Jew (see also Jews) who had been robbed, beaten, and left to die on the roadside. The kindness of the Samaritan was particularly admirable because Jews and Samaritans (i.e., people of Samaria) were generally enemies. Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan to answer a man who had asked him, “Who is my neighbor?” He forced his questioner to admit that the Samaritan was the true neighbor of the man who had been robbed.

Note

Figuratively, “Good Samaritans” are persons who go out of their way to perform acts of kindness to others, especially strangers.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with good samaritan

good Samaritan

A compassionate person who unselfishly helps others, as in In this neighborhood you can't count on a good Samaritan if you get in trouble. This expression alludes to Jesus's parable about a Samaritan who rescues and cares for a stranger who had been robbed and badly hurt and had been ignored by a priest and a Levite (Luke 10:30–35). The Samaritans were considered a heretical group by other Jews, so by using a Samaritan for the parable, Jesus chose a person whom his listeners would find least likely to be worthy of concern. [c. 1600]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.