Definition of sabra in English:



  • A Jew born in Israel (or before 1948 in Palestine).

    • ‘My neighbor, Orly, who is a sabra, a native Israeli, comes over and calls Koby's teacher and is told: he hasn't been in school.’
    • ‘The ensemble thus evoked a triple nostalgia: for childhood, for European lives and languages, and for the rich, melancholy Jewishness repressed by sabra swagger.’
    • ‘Another case, seen as a natural experiment, involved the marital choices of Israeli sabra, co-reared kibbutz children.’
    • ‘There were Ashkenazim and Sephardim, Ethiopians and Russians, American students and fourth-generation sabras.’
    • ‘Any sabra age five and up, in my experience, can differentiate instantaneously between Arab and Jew - when in doubt I've always been able to ask my children - but I'm not in possession of that elusive sixth sense.’
    • ‘‘Am I mistaken,’ I asked a friend, a 50-something sabra whose son is an Israeli air force pilot, ‘or is the excitement that usually leads up to the holiday muted this year, if not entirely absent?’’
    • ‘Native born of German ancestry, his character is drawn to evoke a sense of home: sabra, Jew, son of a Mossad operative, raised on a kibbutz, he is thrice child of Israel.’
    • ‘My former student Ori, the groom, is a sabra whose family emigrated to America, and this created the unforgettable experience of a highly traditional Jewish wedding under the redwoods of the Sonoma Coast.’
    • ‘She couldn't be more of a sabra, growing up working in the kibbutz cowshed on Mount Gilboa.’


From modern Hebrew ṣabbār ‘opuntia fruit’ (opuntias being common in coastal regions of Israel).