[ fil-uh-steen, -stahyn, fi-lis-tin, -teen ]
See synonyms for: philistinism on

  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.

  1. (sometimes initial capital letter) lacking in or hostile to culture.

  2. smugly commonplace or conventional.

  1. (initial capital letter) of or belonging to the ancient Philistines.

Origin of philistine

1350–1400; Middle English <Late Latin Philistīnī (plural) <Late Greek Philistînoi<Hebrew pəlishtīm

Other words for philistine

Other words from philistine

  • phil·is·tin·ism [fil-uh-stee-niz-uhm, -stahy-, fi-lis-tuh-niz-uhm, -tee-], /ˈfɪl ə stiˌnɪz əm, -staɪ-, fɪˈlɪs təˌnɪz əm, -ti-/, noun

Words Nearby philistine Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use philistine in a sentence

  • He may have been a philistine, as Mr. Symonds calls him, but he was surely a philistine of genius.

  • To console themselves for their failure they have invented the word philistine, which expresses their contempt for the public.

    The conquest of Rome | Matilde Serao
  • The pressure of philistine conquest at last forced the Israelites with a common voice to "demand a king."

British Dictionary definitions for Philistine


/ (ˈfɪlɪˌstaɪn) /

  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

  1. (sometimes not capital) boorishly uncultured

  2. of or relating to the ancient Philistines

Derived forms of Philistine

  • 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