One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A non-Jewish person considered to live a worthy or moral life.
2After the Second World War (1939–45): a non-Jew considered to have taken great risks to aid Jewish people during the Holocaust; an honorific title bestowed by Yad VaShem (the Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority) upon such a person.
Mid 19th century. From righteous + gentile, after post-biblical Hebrew ḥāsīḏē 'ummōṯ hā-ʿōlām (plural) the righteous people of the world's nations (late 12th cent. in Maimonides Mišnēh Tōrāh in sense 1 (compare earlier post-biblical Hebrew ṣāddīqē 'ummōṯ hā-ʿōlām (plural) ‘the just people of the world's nations’, in same sense (Tosefta Sanhedrin)), 1953 in sense 2).
Righteous Gentile/ˈrʌɪtʃəs ˈdʒɛntʌɪl/
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