gal·​i·​lee ˈga-lə-ˌlē How to pronounce galilee (audio)
: a chapel or porch at the entrance of an English church

Word History


borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Medieval Latin galilea, probably after Galilea, Galilaea galilee, from a monastic and clerical comparison of the church porch, where the laity gathered, to biblical Galilee, regarded, in opposition to Judaea, as a country of Gentiles (as in Matthew 4:15)

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of galilee was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near galilee

Cite this Entry

“Galilee.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Geographical Definition


geographical name

Gal·​i·​lee ˈga-lə-ˌlē How to pronounce Galilee (audio)
hill region of northern Israel north of the Plain of Esdraelon
Galilean adjective or noun

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