tahini (tuh-HEE-nee) listen
techina (TKHEE-nuh) listen


  • n. A paste made from ground sesame seeds that is used in hummus, halva, and baba ghanoush.

  • n. (only 'techina') A personal prayer, typically in Yiddish, for women, and recited when lighting Shabbat candles.

Example Sentences

  • "Can you put some tahini on my falafel?"

  • "I made a salad with a vegan tahini dressing."

  • "Spoon some tehina into a small bowl." (source)

  • "Don't pour too much techina into the pitta because it'll drip everywhere." (Glinert)

  • "The prayer book opens automatically to the t'chines that my grand- mother used to say on Friday night." (Glinert)

Languages of Origin

  • Arabic / Judeo-Arabic
  • Modern Hebrew


  • MH טְחִינָה t'khiná 'ground (sesame)'

    • Who Uses This

      • Jews: Jews of diverse religious backgrounds and organizational involvements
      • Israel: Diaspora Jews who feel connected to Israel and have spent time there
      • Non-Jews: (words that have spread outside of Jewish networks)


      • North America
      • Australia / New Zealand


      • 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

      techinah, tachinah, tehinah, tahinah, tehini, tekhina, takhina, techina, tachina, tehina, tahina, takhinah, tekhinah, tehina, techine, tekhine, tekhineh, techineh, tchineh, tchine, tkhineh, tkhine


  • "Tahini is often mixed with lemon juice, olive oil, chopped parsley, and spices and eaten as a dip, with pita bread and hummus. It's also used as a sauce on falafel and shawarma" (JPS).

    second sense plural: 'techinot' or 'tkhines'

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