shekel (SHEH-kel) listen
shekel (SHEH-kuhl) listen


  • n. The silver coin used by the Jews in Biblical times.

  • n. The monetary unit in the State of Israel.

  • n. Cash, money.

Example Sentences

  • "I paid seven shekel for falafel."

  • "Can't buy lunch today, I'm out of shekels."

Languages of Origin

  • Textual Hebrew
  • Yiddish
  • Modern Hebrew


  • TH שקל > MH שֶׁקֶל shekel, Y שקל shekl

    • Who Uses This

      • Israel: Diaspora Jews who feel connected to Israel and have spent time there
      • Older: Jews who are middle-aged and older
      • Ashkenazim: Jews with Ashkenazi heritage


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


      • The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).

      Alternative Spellings

      sheqel, shekl


  • Israelis use the new shekel, as there was also a shekel currency during the 1st & 2nd Temple periods. Hebrew plural is shkalim / shekalim / sheqalim (שקלים), but in Jewish English the "s" plural is often used.

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