aveilut (ah-VAY-loot) listen
aveilut (ah-vay-LOOT) listen
aveilus (ah-VAY-loos) listen


  • n. Mourning.

Example Sentences

  • "Avelim—those who have recently lost a next of kin—traditionally find expression for their avelut by observing seven days' confinement at home ('sitting shiva'), forgoing new clothes and musical entertainment, and reciting the kaddish prayer." (Glinert)

Languages of Origin

  • Textual Hebrew


  • אבלות avelut '(period of) mourning'

    • 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
      • Great Britain
      • South Africa
      • 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).

      Alternative Spellings

      avelus, avaylus, aveylus, aveiles, aveles, avayles, aveilut, avelut, avaylut, aveylut, oveilus, ovelus, ovaylus, oveylus, oveiles, oveles, ovayles, aveyles, oveyles


  • Traditionally, one is in avelut for 11 months after losing a parent, or 30 days (called shloshim meaning 'thirty') for another relative.

    See also aveil.

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