• n. A person whose religion is Judaism.

Example Sentences

  • "Being a Jew means being a good person because you want to be, not because there is some celestial carrot you’re after." (source)

Languages of Origin

  • Textual Hebrew


  • ultimately from יְהוּדִי

    • 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).


  • "Historically, a scattered group of people who trace their lineage to the ancient Israelites. The term came into use after the Babylonian Exile (586 B.C.E.) to refer to those people from Judea as well as to the patriarchs, matriachs, and descendants of Jacob and all converts to their faith. Today, there is much debate among the branches of Judaism as to who is a Jew. Traditionally, a person is Jewish if he or she is born to a Jewish mother or converts according to Jewish law. More liberal branches of Judaism recognize children born to either a Jewish mother or a Jewish father and have less stringent rules about conversion and adoption of children who will be raised in Jewish homes." (JPS)

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