• n. The holy language of the Jews that is used in the TANAKH, a modern variant of which is spoken today in the Land of Israel.

Example Sentences

  • "At a minimum, you have to learn to read Hebrew. I suggest you lean enough to understand daily prayers." (source)

Languages of Origin

  • Aramaic
  • English
  • Textual Hebrew


  • ultimately from עִבְרִי

    • Who Uses This

      • Jews: Jews of diverse religious backgrounds and organizational involvements
      • Non-Jews: (words that have spread outside of Jewish networks)


      • North America


      • The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
      • Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).


  • "A Semitic language, Hebrew was spoken by the ancient Israelites until the 2nd century B.C.E., when Aramaic took its place as the everyday language. It was not spoken again in the vernacular until modern times, when the State of Israel adopted Hebrew as its national language. The term for Israelites and Judeans before the Babylonian exile in 586 B.C.E. From the Hebrew root ivri, perhaps meaning 'one from the other side (of the Jordan River).'" (JPS)

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