Phoe·ni·cia (fĭ-nĭshə, -nēshə)
An ancient maritime country of southwest Asia consisting of city-states along the eastern Mediterranean Sea in present-day Syria and Lebanon. Its people became the foremost navigators and traders of the Mediterranean by 1250 BC and established numerous colonies, including Carthage in northern Africa. The Phoenicians traveled to the edges of the known world at the time and introduced their alphabet, based on symbols for sounds rather than cuneiform or hieroglyphic representations, to the Greeks and other early peoples. Phoenicia's culture was gradually absorbed by Persian and later Hellenistic civilizations.
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.