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Phoenician

[fi-nish-uh n, -nee-shuh n]
noun
  1. a native or inhabitant of Phoenicia.
  2. the extinct Semitic language of the Phoenicians.
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adjective
  1. of or relating to Phoenicia, its people, or their language.
  2. noting or pertaining to the script used for the writing of Phoenician from the 11th century b.c. or earlier and from which were derived the Greek, Roman, and all other Western alphabets.
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Origin of Phoenician

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at Phoenicia, -an
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for phoenician

Historical Examples

  • He is generally considered to have been of Phoenician origin.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 2

    Various

  • The third of the Phoenician plains, as we proceed from south to north, is that of Tyre.

    History of Phoenicia

    George Rawlinson

  • There are some grounds for considering Sidon to have been the most ancient of the Phoenician towns.

    History of Phoenicia

    George Rawlinson

  • The extreme Phoenician city on the south was Japho or Joppa.

    History of Phoenicia

    George Rawlinson

  • They have the massive character of all early Phoenician architecture.

    History of Phoenicia

    George Rawlinson


British Dictionary definitions for phoenician

Phoenician

noun
  1. a member of an ancient Semitic people of NW Syria who dominated the trade of the ancient world in the first millennium bc and founded colonies throughout the Mediterranean
  2. the extinct language of this people, belonging to the Canaanitic branch of the Semitic subfamily of the Afro-Asiatic family
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adjective
  1. of or relating to Phoenicia, the Phoenicians, or their language
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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

Word Origin and History for phoenician

Phoenician

n.

late 14c., from Middle French phenicien, from Latin Phoenice, from Greek Phoinike "Phoenicia" (including Carthage), perhaps literally "land of the purple" (i.e., source of purple dye, the earliest use of which was ascribed to the Phoenicians by the Greeks). Identical with phoenix (q.v.), but the relationship is obscure. In reference to a language from 1836; as an adjective from c.1600.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper