alef beys (AH-lihf BAYS) listen
aleph bet (AH-lef BET) listen


  • n. The Hebrew alphabet.

  • n. The basics; the beginning.

Example Sentences

  • "Jewish children traditionally learn the aleph-bet at the age of three."

    Listen to recordings of this sentence: ( Recording 1)
  • "I don't understand—start from the alef beys."

Languages of Origin

  • Modern Hebrew
  • Textual Hebrew
  • Yiddish


  • MH אלף בית alef bet, Y אַלף־בית álef-beys

    • Who Uses This

      • Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education


      • North America
      • Great Britain
      • South Africa
      • Australia / New Zealand


      • The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten and Lawrence Bush (New York, 2003[1968]).
      • Yiddish and English: A Century of Yiddish in America, by Sol Steinmetz (Tuscaloosa, 1986).
      • The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
      • The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).

      Alternative Spellings

      aleph-bet, aleph-beis, aleph-bais, aleph-beys, alef-beis, alef-bet, aleph bet, alef bet, alef beis, aleph beys, aleph bais, aleph beis, aleph bet

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