"northernmost province of Palestine," late 12c., from Latin Galilaea, Greek Galilaia, with place-name element + Hebrew Haggalil, literally "The District," a compressed form of Gelil haggoyim "the District of Nations" (see Isaiah viii.23). The adjective Galilean, also Galilaean, is used both of Jesus, who was raised and began preaching there, and his followers (1610s), who was born there, and of the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei (1727); the family name is from one of its ancestors, Galileo de'Bonajuti, a prominent 15th century physician and civic leader in Florence, and represents Latin Galilaeus "Galilean." Galilean also figures as the word applied to early Christians among the pagans and Jews. Old and Middle English had Galileish
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