sabra (SAHB-ruh)


  • n. A prickly pear, "tough and prickly on the outside, tender and sweet on the inside--a description that many say fits citizens of the Jewish state." (JPS)

Example Sentences

  • "I don't like that guy; he's so standoff-ish."

  • "Oh, don't worry about that. He's Israeli, he's a real sabra."

Languages of Origin

  • Modern Hebrew


  • צבר tsabar

    • Who Uses This

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


      • North America


      • 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).


  • So chosen because prickly pears are thorny on the outside, and soft and sweet on the inside.

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