talit katan


talit katan (tah-LEET ka-TAHN) listen


  • n. A garment worn under the shirt by Orthodox men and boys, with a tassel hanging down from each of the four corners (as opposed to a tallit gadol, which is worn over the shirt and only while praying).

Example Sentences

  • "Although Biblical law does not require one to put tzitzis on a garment unless the garment that he is wearing has four square corners, which most garments nowadays do not have, it is fitting and proper for every male to wear a tallis katan...all day." (source)

  • "Put your tallit katan on, sweetheart, before you start walking around the house." (Glinert)

Languages of Origin

  • Textual Hebrew
  • Yiddish


  • Heb. טַלִּית קָטָן tallit katan 'small prayer shawl' > Yid. טלית־קטן taleskotn

    • Who Uses This

      • 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

      talis katan, tallit katan, tallis katan


Edit     Something missing from this entry? Inaccurate? Feel free to suggest an edit.