1. the first king of Israel. I Sam. 9.
  2. Also called Saul of Tarsus. the original name of the apostle Paul. Acts 9:1–30; 22:3.
  3. a male given name: from a Hebrew word meaning “asked for.” Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for saul

Contemporary Examples of saul

Historical Examples of saul

  • Go and inquire for one called Saul of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth.

  • And if Samuel appeared to Saul, how could it take place if Samuel had no members?

    The Phantom World

    Augustin Calmet

  • "By my saul, I believe so," muttered the old gentleman, in deep anger.

    Roland Cashel

    Charles James Lever

  • Samuel's seeing led him to institute the monarchy under Saul.

    History of Religion

    Allan Menzies

  • When he dared to open his eyes he was blinded and dazed like the stricken Saul.

    In a Little Town

    Rupert Hughes

British Dictionary definitions for saul


  1. Old Testament the first king of Israel (?1020–1000 bc). He led Israel successfully against the Philistines, but was in continual conflict with the high priest Samuel. He became afflicted with madness and died by his own hand; succeeded by David
  2. New Testament the name borne by Paul prior to his conversion (Acts 9: 1–30)
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 saul


masc. proper name, Biblical first king of Israel, from Latin Saul, from Hebrew Shaul, literally "asked for," passive participle of sha'al "he asked for."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

saul in Culture


The first king of Israel, who battled repeatedly with the Philistines. He often felt great despair, which was soothed by David playing his harp. Saul later became jealous of David and tried to have him killed in battle. After a prophesied defeat by the Philistines, Saul killed himself.


Saul was also the Apostle Paul's original name.
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.