See also: samaritan and samaritán

English edit

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Etymology edit

From Latin Samarītānus, from Ancient Greek Σαμαρείτης (Samareítēs), from Σαμαρεία (Samareía, Samaria), derived from Biblical Hebrew שֹׁמְרוֹנִים(Šōmərôním) and שֹׁמְרוֹן(Šōmərôn) respectively. Attested in Old English.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

Samaritan (plural Samaritans)

  1. A native, or inhabitant of Samaria; especially one practising certain ethnoreligious traditions indigenous to that region.
    • 2009, Diarmaid MacCulloch, A History of Christianity, Penguin, published 2010, page 62:
      Many of these despised people built a rival temple on Mount Gerizim in the central Palestinian territory known as Samaria, and hence they were called Samaritans (a word of contempt to Jews); in very reduced numbers, they still live round their sacred mountain now.
  2. A charitable person, one who helps others (from the Bible story in Luke 10:30–37).
  3. (UK) A person who works for the Samaritans telephone helpline, taking calls from suicidal members of the public.

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Samaritan (not comparable)

  1. Of, or relating to Samaria or Samaritans.

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Proper noun edit


  1. The ancient language of Samaria: a dialect of Hebrew.

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