tamei (TAH-mei) listen
tamei (tah-MEH) listen


  • adj. Ritually impure, unclean.

Example Sentences

  • "As we learn in this week’s Torah portion, the situations in which a person becomes tamei are based on interactions with mortality: birth, death, sickness, etc. It is easy to think of the English terms ‘impure’ and ‘defile’ as implying a certain revulsion, but indeed, the rabbis do not see revulsion in the Torah law." (source)

  • "Additionally, the claim of these people that they were being unfairly treated due to their tamei status is also hard to understand." (source)

  • "This entire process, replete with myriad technical regulations, had one purpose—to purify tamei individuals." (source)

  • "The origin of this requirement of complete physical separation comes from the Temple era, during which one could not enter into the precincts of the Temple while tamei. Today, because there is no standing Temple, having the status of tamei is not especially problematic." (source)

  • "All this could have been avoided with a little foresight and planning, such as arranging an area for the kohanim to assemble that was distant enough not to make them tamei." (source)

  • "The Torah explicitly prohibits touching the corpse of an animal that is tamei (ritually impure), yet Jewish law permits it." (source)

Languages of Origin

  • Textual Hebrew


  • טמא tame 'unclean'

    • 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
      • South Africa
      • Australia / New Zealand


      • None

      Alternative Spellings

      tame, tameh, tome, tomei, tamey, tomey, tomeh, tameih, tomeih

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