menorah (meh-NOR-ah) listen


  • n. A candelabrum, especially for Chanukah.

Example Sentences

  • "Even after lighting the menorah we don't extinguish the Shamash" (source)

  • "Put another candle in the menorah. Tonight we light four lights." (Glinert)

Languages of Origin

  • Textual Hebrew


  • מנורה

    • Who Uses This

      • Jews: Jews of diverse religious backgrounds and organizational involvements
      • Non-Jews: (words that have spread outside of Jewish networks)


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


      • The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten and Lawrence Bush (New York, 2003[1968]).
      • The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
      • The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).
      • Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).

      Alternative Spellings

      menora, m'nora, menoyre, m'norah


  • The 7-branched menorah is a symbol of Judaism, and the 8-branched menorah (plus a shamash) is a ritual object used for Chanukah. Among contemporary Jews, a debate has circulated about this term in relation to the term chanukiah. Some hold that it's incorrect to refer to the 9-branched Chanukah candelabrum as a menorah because that refers only to the 7-branched candelabrum that is a symbol of Judaism (see an example here). Others hold that both terms are acceptable to refer to the 9-branched candelabrum (see an example here). The Jewish English Lexicon favors the latter stance: menorah is the traditional term, and chanukiah is the more modern term, influenced by Modern Hebrew, which borrowed it from Ladino. Chanukiah is a subset of menorah, like square is a subset of rectangle.

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