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Definition of SAMSON
: a Hebrew hero who wreaked havoc among the Philistines by means of his great strength
Origin of SAMSON
Late Latin, from Greek Sampsōn, from Hebrew Shimshōn
First Known Use: 14th century
Israelite warrior hero of the Old Testament Book of Judges. His mother had been told by an angel that she would bear a son whose life would be dedicated to God and whose hair must never be cut. Samson performed many powerful acts, including slaying a lion and moving the gates of Gaza. When he revealed to a Philistine woman, Delilah, that his hair was the source of his strength, she shaved his head while he was sleeping, leaving him powerless. He was blinded and enslaved by the Philistines, but later his strength was restored and he pulled down the pillars of a temple where 3,000 Philistines had gathered, killing them and himself.