• n. A child prodigy, especially in religious studies.

  • n. A genius.

Example Sentences

  • "There is one young man...and it is no exaggeration for me to say that hitherto, I have never seen an ilui ...of such depth together with the other strengths in any one... he is a truly great one... able to plumb the depths of thought." (source)

  • "Their second son's an iluy. I heard he knows half of Shas already." (Glinert)

  • “From just one shiur, I'm zicher he's an ilui.” (Weiser)

Languages of Origin

  • Textual Hebrew
  • Yiddish


  • TH. עילוי (pl. עילויים iluyím) 'prodigy' > Y עילוי íleh (p. עילויים ilúim) 'child prodigy (especially in Talmud)'

    • Who Uses This

      • Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)
      • Ashkenazim: Jews with Ashkenazi heritage


      • North America
      • Great Britain


      • The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).
      • Frumspeak: The First Dictionary of Yeshivish, by Chaim Weiser (Northvale, 1995).
      • Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).

      Alternative Spellings


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