melamed (muh-LAH-mihd) listen


  • n. A religious teacher.

  • n. (ironic) An incompetent person.

Example Sentences

  • "It is hard for me to call you my melamed. I want to call you my master teacher, brilliant existentialist, Talmudist of little compare, poet par excellence, courageous leader, charismatic, captivating, and sweeping dramatist, and bearer of truth." (source)

  • “Among the melamdim were many deeply pious men, dedicated to teaching—but their teaching could not help becoming repetitious and boring.” (NJY)

  • “He has no luck—like a melamed.” (NJY)

  • "It's not surprising Moses was the humblest of men—he worked till he was 120 as a melamed." (Glinert)

Languages of Origin

  • Textual Hebrew
  • Yiddish


  • מלמד melamed

    • Who Uses This

      • Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)
      • Older: Jews who are middle-aged and older


      • North America


      • The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten and Lawrence Bush (New York, 2003[1968]).

      Alternative Spellings

      milamed, melamdim, milamdim


  • plural: 'melamdim'

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