Definition of Ashkenazi in English:



  • A Jew of central or eastern European descent. More than 80 percent of Jews today are Ashkenazim; they preserve Palestinian rather than Babylonian Jewish traditions, and some still use Yiddish. Compare with Sephardi.

    and → Sephardi
    • ‘The vast majority of American Jews are of Ashkenazi descent, meaning that their ancestors had settled in Germany and Eastern Europe.’
    • ‘Collaboration between Sephardim and Ashkenazim was limited, due to differences of language and culture.’
    • ‘The economic crises of the 1920s coincided with the American Quota Acts, that converted Cuba into an alternative migration destination and thus to a meeting point of Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews.’
    • ‘Many felt discriminated against once they went to Israel, which was dominated by Ashkenazim or European Jews’
    • ‘Its history means, of course, that it is an Ashkenazi rather than a Sephardi food.’
    • ‘Among Ashkenazi Jewish women, it's one in eight.’
    • ‘The American love of gherkins comes from the Russian, Eastern European and Ashkenazi Jewish diaspora.’
    • ‘There were Ashkenazim and Sephardim, Ethiopians and Russians, American students and fourth-generation sabras.’
    • ‘Poland continued for many years to be the center of the Ashkenazi Jewish world as we shall see in future installments.’
    • ‘The European and the Ashkenazi Jew samples are pooled and referred to as Caucasian.’
    • ‘They'd never met an Ashkenazi Jew in their life.’
    • ‘It was necessary also that they be freshly instructed in the Mosaic law and the Jewish observances by the Ashkenazi rabbis of Amsterdam, who were deeply suspicious of the Sephardic traditions of Spain.’
    • ‘There are other disorders, occurring more frequently in the Ashkenazi Jewish population, for which carrier testing is also available.’
    • ‘Yet they are all there - religious and non-religious, Ashkenazim and Sephardim.’
    • ‘I also discovered recently that my ancestors were Ashkenazi Jews from Eastern Europe.’
    • ‘There are famous disputes, for example, between Orthodox Jews of Ashkenazi and Sephardic origin over the status of corn and rice on Passover.’
    • ‘The Sephardic Jews differed from their Ashkenazi brethren in their language, customs, and habits.’
    • ‘The wealthier and more influential Sephardim spoke Italian and Ladino, while the Yiddish of the Ashkenazim had to compete with the more prestigious English.’
    • ‘European Jews are divided mainly between the Jews of Spain and Portugal, the Sephardim, and the Jews from German-speaking countries in central and eastern Europe, the Ashkenazim.’
    • ‘The Ashkenazi speak Yiddish and came from Hungary, Rumania, Germany and Poland.’


From modern Hebrew, from Ashkenaz, son of Japheth, one of the sons of Noah (Gen. 10:3).