Aramaic (AIR-uh-MAY-ik) listen


  • n. Judeo-Aramaic, a Northern Semitic language related to Hebrew that was the common Jewish language in ancient times until the end of the Talmudic period.

Example Sentences

  • "Many of the prayers we do in synagogue are actually in Aramaic, not Hebrew."

    Listen to recordings of this sentence: ( Recording 1)

Languages of Origin

  • Aramaic
  • English


  • Aramaic ארם aram 'Aram (a Biblical region located in modern Syria)' + English -aic adjectival suffix.

    • 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 JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
      • Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).

      Alternative Spellings



  • "It was the everyday language spoken in ancient times in Palestine, Mesopotamia, and Syria, and by Jews who returned to Palestine after the Babylonian exile (536 B.C.E.) until the end of the Talmudic period. It is the language of the Talmud; Jewish documents, such as the ketubbah and the get, as well as some important prayers, including the Kaddish and Kol Nidrei, are written in Aramaic." (JPS)

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