• WordNet 3.6
    • adj philistine smug and ignorant and indifferent or hostile to artistic and cultural values
    • adj Philistine of or relating to ancient Philistia or its culture or its people
    • n Philistine a member of an Aegean people who settled ancient Philistia around the 12th century BC
    • n philistine a person who is uninterested in intellectual pursuits
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Philistine A bailiff.
    • Philistine A native or an inhabitant of ancient Philistia, a coast region of southern Palestine.
    • Philistine A person deficient in liberal culture and refinement; one without appreciation of the nobler aspirations and sentiments of humanity; one whose scope is limited to selfish and material interests.
    • Philistine Of or pertaining to the Philistines.
    • Philistine Uncultured; commonplace.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n Philistine One of a warlike immigrant people, of disputed origin, who inhabited parts of Philistia or Palestine, and contested the possession and sovereignty of it with the Israelites, and continued to harass them with much persistency for several centuries.
    • n Philistine Hence A heathen enemy; an unfeeling foe: used humorously, for example, of a bailiff or sheriff's officer.
    • n Philistine In Germany, one who has not been trained in a university: so called by the students.
    • n Philistine A matter-of-fact, commonplace person; a man upon whom one can look down, as of culture inferior to one's own; one of “parochial” intellect; a satisfied person who is unaware of his own lack of culture.
    • Philistine Of or pertaining to the ancient Philistines.
    • Philistine Of or pertaining to or having the characteristics of Philistines in the modern social and literary sense (see the noun, def. 3.); commonplace; dully matter-of-fact and satisfied; conventional and unimaginative.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Philistine fil′is-tin one of the ancient inhabitants of south-western Palestine, enemies of the Israelites—also Philis′tian, and Philis′tim (Milt.): a name applied by German students to shopkeepers and others not connected with the university: an uncultured person
    • ***


  • Matthew Arnold
    “Our society distributes itself into Barbarians, Philistines and Populace; and America is just ourselves with the Barbarians quite left out, and the Populace nearly.”
  • Pauline Kael
    Pauline Kael
    “One of the surest signs of the Philistine is his reverence for the superior tastes of those who put him down.”
  • Ambrose Bierce
    “Witticism. A sharp and clever remark, usually quoted and seldom noted; what the Philistine is pleased to call a joke.”
  • Oscar Wilde
    “The sign of a Philistine age is the cry of immorality against art.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. Philistinus, Heb. Phlishthī, pl. Phlishthīm,


In literature:

If he bears a simple label, indeed, it is that of anti-Philistine.
"A Book of Prefaces" by H. L. Mencken
It was at this point that the apex of Philistine contentment was passed and the reaction set in.
"The Price" by Francis Lynde
Philistines and Syrians to thee came tributary.
"Everyman and Other Old Religious Plays, with an Introduction" by Anonymous
Is it not still more wonderful that Samson should have slain so many Philistines with the jaw-bone of an ass?
"The Life of Joan of Arc, Vol. 1 and 2 (of 2)" by Anatole France
The prosperous English Philistine complains that Mr. Shaw is making a fool of him.
"George Bernard Shaw" by Gilbert K. Chesterton
She felt like an artist whose great work has been scorned by the philistines.
"One Woman's Life" by Robert Herrick
You call us Philistines now, I expect, don't you?
"Quisanté" by Anthony Hope
The Philistines must have come up by the passes from the west.
"With the British Army in The Holy Land" by Henry Osmond Lock
An idol worshipped by the Philistines and Syrians, called Derceto, has an interesting history.
"The Mysteries of All Nations" by James Grant
I suppose, papa, you've no idea how Philistine you are.
"The Story of a Play" by W. D. Howells

In poetry:

The kine unguided went
By the directest road;
When the Philistines homeward sent
The ark of Israel's God.
"The Milch Kine Drawing The Ark : Faith's Surrender Of All" by John Newton
Then old Atlantic calmed his raid,
As though some shrewd Philistine maid
Had won his heart and ta'en away
His bristling waves and angry spray —
"Descriptive Voyage From New York To Aspinwall" by James Madison Bell
With loud voice Goliath said:
"Hear, armed Israel, gatherëd,
And in array against us set:
Ye shall alone by me be met.
For am not I a Philistine?
What strength may be compared to mine?
"David" by Charles Lamb
But in this thoughtless, restless age
What honor is there for the sage?
When Philistines, in manner rude,
Disturb my sleepy solitude,
Where in my peaceful bower I lurk,
And coarsely shout at me: "Get work!"
"The Weary Philosopher" by C J Dennis
How my heart used to beat; how my veins used to thrill
From freezing to fever,—from fever to chill,—
When the voice of the Philistine rang through our coasts,
Defying,—unanswered,—the Lord God of Hosts.
"At the Fords Of Jordan" by Mary Hannay Foott
And what is the moral of all this rot?
Don't try to be what you know you're not.
And if you're made on a muttonish plan,
Don't seek to seem a Bohemian;
And if to the goats your feet incline,
Don't try to pass for a Philistine.
"The Philistine And The Bohemian" by Robert W Service

In news:

The insurgent dependencies of Assyria included some of the Philistine city-states, Judah's neighbors — and ancient enemies — to the south.
The Philistines 'are the ultimate other, almost, in the biblical story,' archaeologist says.
Naked Men Draw Women, Enraged Philistines to Vienna.
Of all ancient names, David, king of Israel who killed the giant, Goliath, and led his nation in great victories over the Philistines would be quickly recognizable.
The director of "Women in Love" and "Tommy," who died Nov 27, reigned during the 1970s as "the cinema's most reliable anti-philistine and provocateur.".
Writing to publishers or relatives, friends or perceived philistines, Vladimir Nabokov took meticulous care with wording, as he did with his novels and other works.
Times Puts Safire on Hiatus—Gives "On Language" to Philistine .
'Cultural Philistine' from the May 12, 1988 issue.
Heathered Pearls / Photo by Philistine DSGN.
Only a few hours removed from an emotional victory over California, Dave Philistin found himself missing something.
IN SOME QUARTERS of sports-crazed America, tomorrow night's playoff game between the Believing Broncos and the Philistine Patriots has taken on a larger meaning, maybe even a divine meaning.
Plague of the Philistines, the 5th century B.C.
King Saul , requesting a conqueror to slay the Philistine giant Goliath, is amused when the child-servant of God, David of Bethlehem, answers his request.
Samson, you will recall, had a certain-and ultimately fatal-attraction to women of suspicious, namely Philistine, pedigree as well as a reputation for roughhousing.

In science:

For others he was part of the thought police or merely a philistine imposture.
The Latest on the Sokal Affair: Beyond Three Extremisms