Updated January 1, 2020

Definition of Phoenicians

Phoenicians definition

Phoenicians Definition

 The  best basic definition of the Phoenicians is that they were the skilled sailors and traders of antiquity who lived in what is now Lebanon, and spread to their colonies around the Mediterranean Sea. They were literate people who brought the Phoenician alphabet to other lands, yet were so private that they did not share their writings with outsiders. This is why so much of what we know about them was recorded by other societies in antiquity.

That brief definition is expanded considerably in the other pages shown below.

Various dictionary definitions of "Phoenician" include:

Random House Dictionary

Definition of Phoenician

pronounced (fi nish' ən, fi nē' shən)

noun 1. a native or inhabitant of Phoenicia.  2. the extinct Semitic language of the Phoenicians.  adj. 3. of or pertaining to Phoenicia, its people, or their language. 4. noting or pertaining to the script used for the writing of Phoenician.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Definition of Phoenician

pronounced (fi-ˈnē-shən)

noun 1. a native or inhabitant of ancient Phoenicia.  2. the Semitic language of ancient Phoenicia.

Oxford Dictionary of English

Definition of Phoenician

Pronounced (fə'niSHən, fə'nēSHən)

noun 1. a member of a Semitic people inhabiting ancient Phoenicia and its colonies. The Phoenicians prospered from trade and manufacturing until the capital, Tyre, was sacked by Alexander the Great in 332 BC.  2. the Semitic language of the Phoenicians, written in an alphabet that was the ancestor of the Greek and Roman alphabets.  adj. relating to Phoenicia, its people, or its language.

King Ahiram sarcophagus

The specific characteristics and attributes of the Phoenicians are discussed in much greater detail in the book Phoenician Secrets.


Phoenician Secrets:

Exploring the Ancient Mediterranean

Contents of This Site


Origin of the Phoenicians

Ancient Ships and Sea Trade

Carthage, Hannibal

Punic Wars, Peace

Ancient Mediterranean

Egypt, Pyramids & Cedar

Sea Peoples

The Minoans

Solomon's Temple

Templars in Lebanon



Phoenicians Images

Cedars of Lebanon

Byblos, Sidon and Tyre





Adonis Legend

Aphrodite Legend

Isis and Osiris Legend

Europa Legend

Elissa Legend

Phoenicians Home Page

2006-2020 Santorini