• n. A gossipy woman; busybody.

  • n. Informal matchmaker.

Example Sentences

  • "Those three yentas keep trying to set me up with their grandsons." (source)

Languages of Origin

  • Yiddish


  • יענטע yente

    • Who Uses This

      • Jews: Jews of diverse religious backgrounds and organizational involvements


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


      • 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).

      Alternative Spellings



  • The Yiddish women’s names Yenta and Yentl come from Gentil and Gentile (meaning noble, beautiful), names used by French- and Italian-speaking Jews in the Middle Ages. The current Yiddish and Jewish English meanings of a gossipy woman or matchmaker may be influenced by the character Yenta, played by Molly Picon, in the 1971 film Fiddler on the Roof.

    See also Yachna which derives from a Yiddish given name that fell out of fashion.

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