talit katan


talit katan (tah-LEET ka-TAHN)


  • 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)

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).

      Alternative Spellings

      talis katan, tallit katan, tallis katan


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