• n. Spirit, morale.

  • n. (chiefly in curses) A ghost, demon, devil.

Example Sentences

  • "The singing children had a lot of ruach."

  • (a chant) "We've got ruach, yes we do, we've got ruach, how bout you?"

  • "Didn't that singing group make a great ruach at the simcha [celebration]!" (Glinert)

Languages of Origin

  • Textual Hebrew
  • Yiddish


  • TH רוח rúakh > Y רוח ruekh

    • Who Uses This

      • Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
      • Camp: Jews who attend or work at a Jewish overnight summer camp
      • Older: Jews who are middle-aged and older
      • Ashkenazim: Jews with Ashkenazi heritage
      • Organizations: People involved in a professional or volunteer capacity with Jewish nonprofit organizations


      • North America
      • Great Britain
      • South Africa
      • Australia / New Zealand


      • Yiddish and English: A Century of Yiddish in America, by Sol Steinmetz (Tuscaloosa, 1986).
      • The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
      • The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).
      • Frumspeak: The First Dictionary of Yeshivish, by Chaim Weiser (Northvale, 1995).

      Alternative Spellings

      ruah, ruekh


  • This word comes from textual Hebrew, in which it means "wind", but over time came to mean "spirit", "enthusiasm", or "soul" depending on context.

    plural: 'rukhes' or 'ruchot'

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