Definition of sheitel in English:



  • (among orthodox Ashkenazic Jews) a wig worn by a married woman.

    • ‘I looked around, and it was 95% people in kippot and sheitels, or overdressed in the way that only frummers can be, and I thought, my my, everyone here is Jewish.’
    • ‘I couldn't help noticing some sheitel (religious Jewish women cover their hair) wearing frummers, and when the Baroness stripped down to her basque, I kept thinking ‘look away, don't sully yourselves’.’
    • ‘I'm men in shtreimels and women in funky sheitels, I'm English, I'm Jewish, I'm yiddishist, and maybe a little bit Israeli, and loud and quiet, and shy and confident, and sure and not sure.’
    • ‘Wry jokes are whispered; remarks are made about the wigs (called sheitels) that the married Orthodox women wear to avoid the ‘immodesty’ of displaying their real hair.’
    • ‘Married women wear a sheitel with their hair cropped short.’


Late 19th century: from Yiddish sheytl, from a Germanic base meaning ‘crown of the head’.