AskDefine | Define Samson

Dictionary Definition



1 (Old Testament) a judge of Israel who performed herculean feats of strength against the Philistines until he was betrayed to them by his mistress Delilah
2 a large and strong and heavyset man; "he was a bull of a man"; "a thick-skinned bruiser ready to give as good as he got" [syn: bull, bruiser, strapper]

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative spellings


שִׁמְשׁוֹן "of the sun".
  • Samson is also the name of a sixth century Welsh bishop, possibly rendered from some Celtic name.

Proper noun

  1. An Israelite judge in the Old Testament who performed feats of strength against the Philistines but was betrayed by Delilah his mistress.
  2. In the context of "by extension": Any very strong man.
  3. A given name.
  4. An English surname derived from the given name.


  • : Judges 16:6:
    And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great strength lieth, and wherewith thou mightest be bound to afflict thee.


Israelite judge
  • Danish: Samson
  • Finnish: Simson
  • French: de (Catholic), Simson (Protestant)
  • Italian: Sansone
  • Latin: Samson
  • Norwegian: Samson
  • Swedish: Samson
very strong man
  • Italian: sansone

Extensive Definition

about Biblical figure Samson, Shimshon (Hebrew: שִׁמְשׁוֹן, Standard Šimšon Tiberian ; meaning "of the sun" – perhaps proclaiming he was radiant and mighty, or "[One who] Serves [God]") or Shamshoum شمشون (Arabic) is the third to last of the Judges of the ancient Children of Israel mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh, and the Talmud. He is described in the Book of Judges chapters 13 to 16. He is believed to be buried in Tel Tzora in Israel overlooking the Sorek valley. There reside two large gravestones of Samson and his father Manoah. Nearby stands Manoach’s altar (Judges 13:19-24). It is located between the cities of Zorah and Eshtaol. wrestling a lion, An angel from God appears to Manoah, an Israelite from the tribe of Dan, in the city of Zorah, and to his wife, who is sterile. The intended marriage is actually part of God's plan to strike at the Philistines.
Later, Samson goes to Gaza, where he stays at a harlot's house. His enemies wait at the gate of the city to ambush him, but he rips the gate up and carries it to "the hill that is in front of Hebron." Delilah calls for a servant to shave Samson's seven locks. They summon Samson so that he may entertain them.
After his death, Samson's family recovers his body from the rubble and buries him near the tomb of his father Manoah. The name "Samson" is derived from the Hebrew word "shemesh", which means the sun, so that Samson bore the name of God, who is called "a sun and shield" in ; and as God protected Israel, so did Samson watch over it in his generation, judging the people even as did God., but when the spirit of God came upon him he could step with one stride from Zorah to Eshtaol, while the hairs of his head arose and clashed against one another so that they could be heard for a like distance. yet his superhuman strength, like Goliath's, brought woe upon its possessor., and he piously refrained from taking the name of God in vain...
These speculations are in stark contrast to the historical depictions expressed in the Bible and are therefore mutually exclusive.

Samson parades

Samson parades are annual parades of a Samson figure in different villages in the Lungau, Salzburg (state) and two villages in the north-west Steiermark (Austria).
Samson is one of the giant figures at the "Ducasse" festivities, which takes place at Ath, Belgium.

External links

commons cat Samson
Samson in Arabic: شمشون
Samson in Catalan: Samsó
Samson in Cebuano: Samson
Samson in Czech: Samson (biblická postava)
Samson in German: Samson
Samson in Spanish: Sansón
Samson in Persian: شمشون
Samson in French: Samson
Samson in Korean: 삼손
Samson in Indonesian: Samson
Samson in Italian: Sansone
Samson in Hebrew: שמשון
Samson in Lithuanian: Samsonas
Samson in Dutch: Simson (persoon)
Samson in Japanese: サムソン
Samson in Norwegian: Samson (person)
Samson in Polish: Samson (postać biblijna)
Samson in Portuguese: Sansão (Bíblia)
Samson in Russian: Самсон
Samson in Finnish: Simson
Samson in Swedish: Simson
Samson in Ukrainian: Самсон
Samson in Yiddish: שמשון הגיבור
Samson in Chinese: 參孫

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Achilles, Antaeus, Atlas, Briareus, Brobdingnagian, Charles Atlas, Cyclops, David, Goliath, Hector, Hercules, Polyphemus, Roland, Superman, Tarzan, Titan, a man, brave, bulldog, bully, bullyboy, chutzpanik, colossus, decorated hero, demigod, demigoddess, fighting cock, gallant, gamecock, giant, good soldier, gorilla, hero, heroine, lion, man of courage, muscle man, paladin, powerhouse, stalwart, strong man, strong-arm man, the brave, the mighty, the strong, tiger, tough, tough guy, tower of strength, valiant, valiant knight
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