Israel (IZ-ree-uul) listen


  • n. The Jewish state founded in 1948.

  • n. The historical northern kingdom of the Jews.

  • n. Biblical Jacob's new name after he wrested with an angel.

Example Sentences

  • "IMO the connection people –and myself– feel to Israel is one that comes from an understanding of our history in and out of it. What it has meant for us to not have it, and the difference in our every day existence since we returned." (source)

Languages of Origin

  • Textual Hebrew


  • יִשְׂרָאֵל

    • 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).

      Alternative Spellings

      Land of Israel, State of Isreal, Eretz Yisrael, Erets Yisrael


  • First definition: "Israel is located in southwest Asia on the Mediterranean Sea and borders Egypt, Lebanon, and Jordan. Its capital is Jerusalem. Jewish ties to the Land of Israel go back 4,000 years, when tradition holds that God told Abraham to go there and promised him that land. The creation of the modern State of Israel was the culmination of the Zionist dream for a Jewish homeland." (JPS)

    Second definition: "[The northern kingdom] was part of the kingdom united by David and held by Solomon. Israel broke off from Judah, which was home to the remaining 2 tribes." (JPS)

    See also Eretz Yisrael, Yisrael, Medinat Yisrael, and Land of Israel.

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