• synonyms


[sam-suh n]
  1. a judge of Israel famous for his great strength. Judges 13–16.
  2. any man of extraordinary physical strength.
  3. a male given name: from a Hebrew word meaning “like the sun.”
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Related formsSam·so·ni·an [sam-soh-nee-uh n] /sæmˈsoʊ ni ən/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for samson

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Samson was there, too; I believe that he was playing that night in one of Molire's comedies.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • Samson saw this, and said to me, "Come, come; we are not ogres!"

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • We find Samson visiting his Philistine wife, who remained with her kindred.

    The Truth About Woman

    C. Gasquoine Hartley

  • She also accompanied Samson on a number of European and American opera expeditions.

  • "The Philistines be upon thee, Samson," cried Csar, and with that there was a struggle.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

British Dictionary definitions for samson


  1. a judge of Israel, who performed herculean feats of strength against the Philistine oppressors until he was betrayed to them by his mistress Delilah (Judges 13–16)
  2. any man of outstanding physical strength
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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 samson


masc. proper name, Biblical strong-man (Judges xiii-xvi), from Late Latin, from Greek Sampson, from Hebrew Shimshon, probably from shemesh "sun." As a generic name for a man of great strength, attested from 1565. Samsonite, proprietary name for a make of luggage, is 1939, by Shwayder Bros. Inc., Denver, U.S.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

samson in Culture


In the Old Testament, an Israelite servant of God who pitted his invincible strength and his wits against the Philistines on many occasions. He was eventually betrayed by his lover, the beautiful Delilah, who tricked Samson into telling her that the secret of his strength lay in his uncut hair. Delilah cut Samson's hair while he slept, and then called for the Philistines, who captured and blinded him. During his captivity, Samson's hair grew back, and he eventually pulled the Philistines' banquet hall down on their heads.

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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.