Definition of Samaritan in US English:



  • 1usually Good SamaritanA charitable or helpful person (with reference to Luke 10:33).

    • ‘Just before the police are called, a Good Samaritan, posing as a police officer, steps in to save him.’
    • ‘A quick thinking Samaritan jumped over the wall and threw the drowning man a lifebuoy but he was unable to hold on due to the strong waves and cold water.’
    • ‘Giving aid to someone you messed up, with them thinking you are some kind of Samaritan, does not leave you with a good feeling about yourself.’
    • ‘The Belfast man and his wife Josephine were stranded for an hour in their car along the Ballydugan Road before a good Samaritan came to their rescue.’
    • ‘That wonderful Samaritan must have had two things that all of us need while we continue to be alive: humility and courage.’
    patron, benefactress, supporter, backer, helper, sponsor, promoter, champion
    View synonyms
  • 2A member of a people inhabiting Samaria in biblical times, or of the modern community in the region of Nablus claiming descent from them, adhering to a form of Judaism accepting only its own ancient version of the Pentateuch as Scripture.

    • ‘Because of the doctrinal differences between Samaritans and Jews, Samaritans are educated in secular Israeli schools.’
    • ‘Because the Samaritans recognized only the Pentateuch as authoritative, references later in the OT stipulating worship at the Jerusalem temple were not considered binding.’
    • ‘The advantage the Jews had over the Samaritans was the Bible which instructed them in the acceptable way of approaching God.’
    • ‘The Samaritans and Jews had rival temples, one on Mt. Gerizim and one at Jerusalem.’
    • ‘R. HaXohen instead groups contemporary non-orthodox Jews with the ancient Samaritans, a group of deviant Jews.’
  • 3The dialect of Aramaic formerly spoken in Samaria.


  • Relating to Samaria or the Samaritans.

    • ‘According to Bruneau, the stelai were probably incorporated into this facade and would, therefore, allow us to identify the respective building as a second, Samaritan, synagogue.’
    • ‘In conclusion, there is nothing specifically Jewish or Samaritan about the fittings of GD 80 except the wording of the Greek inscriptions on the votives.’
    • ‘Mazur came to the conclusion that the building as she reconstructed it could never have functioned as a synagogue, yet Binder has no problem identifying it as a Jewish, or rather Samaritan, assembly hall, at least in its second phase.’
    • ‘As an integral part of the Samaritan mission, Jesus witnesses to the disciples about true ministry and its inclusive nature, demonstrating that many of the same issues needed to be confronted with them as with the woman.’
    • ‘According to Samaritan tradition, Mount Gerizim, at whose foot Jacob's well was located, was the mountain where Abraham had climbed to sacrifice Isaac.’


From late Latin Samaritanus, from Greek Samareitēs, from Samareia ‘Samaria’. The New Testament parable of the Good Samaritan reflects a proverbial hostility between Jews and Samaritans.