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The Philistines were a dominant people in the area of Canaan in Old Testament times. They provided Samson with his opponents, and their defeats are among his triumphs. Their heartland was in southern Palestine (the name of the place is etymologically derived from the name of the people). Gaza was one of their cities, along with Ashdod, Ashkelon, Ekron and Gath. The Philistines are commonly referred to in the Bible as "the uncircumcised", although they were not the only enemies of the Israelites who did not carry this mark of distinction, or dedication to God,

In modern English, philistine can be used as a noun or an adjective. It is derogatory, being used principally to show the user's superiority over people whose education, or refinement of taste, etc, is inferior. It means roughly '[one whose] tastes I do not share [because they are too coarse or plebeian]'; '[one whose] education is less sophisticated or subtle than my own'; 'hostile to [high] culture'.