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 (gĭb′ə-lēn′, -līn′, -lĭn)
A member of the aristocratic political faction who fought during the Middle Ages for German imperial control of Italy, in opposition to the Guelphs and the papacy.

[Italian Ghibellino, from Middle High German *wībeling, name of a Hohenstaufen estate.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˈɡɪbɪˌlaɪn; -ˌliːn)
1. (Historical Terms) a member of the political faction in medieval Italy originally based on support for the German emperor
2. (Historical Terms) (modifier) of or relating to the Ghibellines. Compare Guelph1
[C16: from Italian Ghibellino, probably from Middle High German Waiblingen, a Hohenstaufen estate]
ˈGhibelˌlinism n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈgɪb ə lɪn, -ˌlin)

1. a member of the aristocratic party in medieval Italy that supported the claims of the German emperors against the papacy: politically opposed to the Guelphs.
2. of or pertaining to the Ghibellines.
[1565–75; < Italian Ghibellino]
Ghib′el•lin•ism, n.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
She handled her subjects agreeably, and they were, perhaps, more worthy of attention than the high discourse upon Guelfs and Ghibellines which was proceeding tempestuously at the other end of the room.
She raised her voice as she spoke; it was heard all over the drawing-room, and silenced the Guelfs and the Ghibellines. The clergyman, inwardly cursing the female sex, bowed, and departed with her message.
She looked, indeed, like one of those wonderful boys of the Italian Renaissance, whom you may still see at the National Gallery, whose beauty is no denial, but rather the stamp of their slender, supple strength, young painters and sculptors who held the palette for Leonardo, or wielded the chisel for Michelangelo, and anon threw both aside to take up sword for Guelf or Ghibelline in the narrow streets of Florence.
The Venetians, moved, as I believe, by the above reasons, fostered the Guelph and Ghibelline factions in their tributary cities; and although they never allowed them to come to bloodshed, yet they nursed these disputes amongst them, so that the citizens, distracted by their differences, should not unite against them.
In the novel's 10 chapters, Santagata weaves the events of Dante's life against the actions of Guelfs, Ghibellines, Popes, Kings, and Emperors.
Joseph Milsand reports "still more passages of arms" between the Brownings "about the famous Sorcerer Hume," likening this to "the war between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines" (p.
These pages move from sixteenth century changes in trade to fourteenth century conflicts of Guelphs and Ghibellines and back again, so readers could be forgiven for losing their place or for being taken out of the story.
In 1306, however, the Black Guelfs took over control of Bologna, vowing "to exterminate forever the Ghibellines and the Whites," as they put it.
Amid the political strife and ubiquitous violence of the late Middle Ages, where landscapes were fractured and made bloody by divided allegiances to the Pope (Guelphs) on the one side and to the Holy Roman Empire (Ghibellines) on the other, readers nonetheless see hope in Dante, burgeoning through strife.
Factions arose between families and clans, particularly between the pro-papal Guelphs and the pro-Imperial Ghibellines. It is claimed that the rise of the signorie was an attempt to respond to conflicts between the rival factions.
During the entire Middle Ages and Renascence period, Italy was marked by the fight betweens the Guelphs, which were close to the pope and the Ghibellines, faithful to the emperor, so that the separatist traditions did not do anything else but to favour the discussions about autonomy and regional freedom.
Dante punished many sinners for inciting war, especially between the Guelfs and Ghibellines in Florence (which forced him into exile) and between Florence and its nearby enemies.