Alternative Spellings

yahrtzeit, yortzait, yortseit, yortsayt, yortzayt, yartzeit, yortsayt, yahrtzeit, jahrzeit


  • The anniversary of a person's death, generally marked by relatives in some way.

Example Sentences

  • "On my mother's yartzeit we light a candle to remember her."

Languages of Origin



יאָרצײַט yortsayt 'lit. time of year; anniversary of a death' (Yiddish: yor = year; tsayt = time). The spelling in English is influenced by German orthographic norms.

Who Uses This

Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education


North America


The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten and Lawrence Bush (New York, 2003[1968]).
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).


also used in the phrase "yahrzeit candle"

Edit     See something you disagree with? Feel free to edit it. All changes will be moderated.