• n. The Holocaust; the systematic state-sponsored killing of six million Jews in World War II between 1941-45.

Example Sentences

  • "My grandmother is a survivor of the Shoah."

  • "He came to Canada as a survivor of the Shoah." (Glinert)

Languages of Origin

  • Modern Hebrew


  • שׁוֹאָה sho'á, lit. 'catastrophe'

    • Who Uses This

      • Jews: Jews of diverse religious backgrounds and organizational involvements
      • Israel: Diaspora Jews who feel connected to Israel and have spent time there
      • Organizations: People involved in a professional or volunteer capacity with Jewish nonprofit organizations


      • North America
      • South Africa
      • Australia / New Zealand


      • The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
      • The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).


  • Used by many Jews, especially those affiliated with Israel-oriented organizations that encourage the use of Hebrew.

    See also Holocaust.

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