One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(in Jewish folklore) a malevolent wandering spirit that enters and possesses the body of a living person until exorcised.
- ‘The Jewish dybbuk is the malevolent spirit of a dead person which enters a living one and controls it.’
- ‘Ashkenazi legends are a fantastic repository of monsters - not only golems, but dybbuks and demons too.’
- ‘The dybbuk spoke out of its hiding place, ‘I'm so glad they're going to die.’’
- ‘Not only his dybbuks and demons but the people themselves belonged not simply to another continent but to another cosmos, a distant century.’
From Yiddish dibek, from Hebrew dibbūq, from dāḇaq ‘cling’.
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