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From Hebrew דלילה‎ ‎([she who] weakened).


Proper noun[edit]


  1. The mistress of Samson who betrayed him to the Philistines.
    • 1611, Bible (KJV): : Judges 16:6:
      And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great strength lieth, and wherewith thou mightest be bound to afflict thee.
  2. A beautiful, cunning and treacherous woman; a femme fatale.
    Though she is something of a Delilah, she is still considered the heroine of the novel.
  3. A female given name of biblical origin.
    • 1919, John Galsworthy, Saint's Progress (Echo Library 2006, ISBN 1847020704), page 104:
      "Leila!" she said enigmatically. "Have you seen her?" "I went to her flat last week with Dad - he likes her." "Delilah is her real name, you know. All men like her. And Captain Fort is her lover."