From Late Latin Philistinus, from Late Ancient Greek Φυλιστῖνοι (Phulistinoi), from Hebrew פְּלִשְׁתִּים (p'lishtím), from פְּלֶשֶׁת (p'léshet, “Philistia”).
The sense relating to lack of education and culture was introduced to English by Thomas Carlyle and greatly popularised by Matthew Arnold. It is derived from German student use of the term Philister to refer to the burghers of the town. This apparently derived from the use of the biblical text "the Philistines be upon you, Samson" in a memorial service for a Jena university student who died as the result of a town vs. gown dispute in 1693.
- (UK) IPA: /ˈfɪl.ɪ.staɪn/, X-SAMPA: /"fIl.I.staIn/
- (US) IPA: /ˈfɪl.ɪ.staɪn/, /ˈfɪl.ə.stin/, /fɪˈlɪ.stin/, X-SAMPA: /"fIl.I.staIn/, /"fIl.@.stin/, /fI"lI.stin/
Philistine (plural Philistines)
- A person from ancient Philistia.
- A person who lacks appreciation of art or culture.
- It is Shakespearean, you philistine!
- 1843 Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present, book 2, ch. 4, Abbot Hugo
- what could poor old Abbot Hugo do? A frail old man; and the Philistines were upon him, – that is to say, the Hebrews.
- 2005, Plato, Sophist. Translation by Lesley Brown. 259d.
- trying to separate everything from everything else is not just poor taste but is the mark of a total philistine and someone with no feeling for philosophy.
person lacking appreciation of culture
- Armenian: փղշտացի (hy) (p'ġštac'i)
- Mandarin: 俗人 (cmn) (súrén)
- Czech: barbar (cs) m, šosák (cs) m
- Danish: spidsborger (da)
- Faroese: smáborgari (fo) m
- Finnish: moukka (fi), filisteri (fi)
- French: philistin (fr) m
- German: Banause (de) m, Banausin (de) f, Kulturbanause (de) m, Kulturbanausin (de) f, Kunstbanause (de) m, Kunstbanausin (de) f, Spießbürger (de) m, Spießbürgerin (de) f, Spießer (de) m, Spießerin (de) f, (Austrian) Sumper (de) m, (Austrian) Sumperin (de) f, Barbar (de) m, Barbarin (de) f, Kunstbarbar (de) m, Kunstbarbarin (de) f, Philister (de) m, Philisterin (de) f, Prolet (de) m, Proletin (de) f, Ignorant (de) m, Ignorantin (de) f, Primitivling (de) m
Philistine (comparative more Philistine, superlative most Philistine)
- Of or pertaining to the ancient Philistines.
- Lacking appreciation of culture; also philistine.
of or pertaining to the Philistines