Alternative Spellings

kinyon, kinyen, keenyan


  • The act or manner of legally acquiring or agreeing to something.
  • "A groom's formal acceptance of the terms of the ketubbah. At a traditional wedding, this ritual takes place during the chossen's tish, when the rabbi or a witness, acting on behalf of the bride, offers the groom a handkerchief or some other object" (JPS).

Example Sentences

  • "In Jewish law almost all kinds of rights, whether proprietary or contractual can be voluntarily acquired only by way of kinyan." (

Languages of Origin

Textual Hebrew


קנין kinyan 'act of buying, an acquisition'

Who Uses This

Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)


North America


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


Regarding the usage referring to the groom accepting the ketubbah, "This ceremony is a vestige of ancient times, when marriage was a business transaction between the bride's father and the groom. That transaction was confirmed by the passing of a handkerchief and/or sealed with the payment of a silver or gold coin" (JPS), which is what connects the usage to the literal meaning of an acquisition.

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