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philistine

A philistine is a person who doesn’t think a lot and isn't interested in learning. Your uncle Marvin, who's only interested in eating, sleeping, and watching game shows, could be considered a philistine.

In the late 17th century, during a conflict in Jena, Germany, between townspeople and students, someone referred to the townspeople as “Philistines.” Since then, philistine has described someone who stands against learning and the arts. And if you don’t start reading the great Russian authors, someone might suggest that you have a philistine attitude toward literature — the word can also be used as an adjective describing a person or thing that displays indifference to the arts and intellectual pursuits.

Definitions of philistine
  1. noun
    a person who is uninterested in intellectual pursuits
    synonyms: anti-intellectual, lowbrow
    see moresee less
    type of:
    pleb, plebeian
    one of the common people
  2. adjective
    smug and ignorant and indifferent or hostile to artistic and cultural values
    synonyms: anti-intellectual
    nonintellectual
    not intellectual
Word Family
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