geographical name
Pal·​es·​tine | \ ˈpa-lə-ˌstīn How to pronounce Palestine (audio) \
variants: or Latin Palaestina \ ˌpa-​lə-​ˈstē-​nə How to pronounce Palaestina (audio) , -​ˈstī-​ \

Definition of Palestine

region in southwestern Asia bordering on the eastern Mediterranean population 3,764,000

Note: Palestine dates back to ancient times, and over the centuries its boundaries, which have mostly been unofficial, have fluctuated and have been disputed or indistinct. It approximately includes or has included what is now Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, extending eastward either up to or beyond the Jordan River. Palestine was a part of the Ottoman Empire from 1516 to 1917. It was an official entity during the period 1923–48 under the mandate granted to Great Britain by the League of Nations to establish a responsible government in the region.

Other Words from Palestine

Palestinian \ ˌpa-​lə-​ˈsti-​nē-​ən How to pronounce Palestinian (audio) , -​nyən \ adjective or noun

Learn More about Palestine

Statistics for Palestine

Cite this Entry

“Palestine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on Palestine

Britannica English: Translation of Palestine for Arabic Speakers

Comments on Palestine

What made you want to look up Palestine? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three bears two of them look like theyre whispering to a third bear who looks chuffed to be the center of attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!