Definition of Jew in US English:



  • A member of the people and cultural community whose traditional religion is Judaism and who trace their origins through the ancient Hebrew people of Israel to Abraham.

    • ‘Jacob was a Shemite and a Hebrew, but not a Jew because Jews originated with his son Judah.’
    • ‘This is part of a growing social inequality in Israel, affecting both Jews and Arabs.’
    • ‘This is born out when you study the ancient Jews and the original Hebrew and Greek.’
    • ‘If one Jew or all the Jews were to accept the prescription here offered, he or they cannot be worse off than now.’
    • ‘I'll just continue to stand up for Israel as a Jew and a citizen of a democratic society.’
    • ‘We can make better progress if we briefly consider how ancient Jews did categorize the law.’
    • ‘So let us make a fresh start and try to discover what it's like to be a Jew, how Judaism looks from within.’
    • ‘They now speak of a bi-national state where Arabs and Jews may share the same land.’
    • ‘He clearly was neither a law-abiding Jew nor an upstanding member of the local community.’
    • ‘It was the Romans who renamed Judea Palaestina to expunge all traces of the Jews.’
    • ‘Glatt remained an Orthodox Jew but also a true European of the old school.’
    • ‘She later played the roles of both a black teenage gang member and a Hasidic Jew.’
    • ‘A Jew must be aware that he is not only an individual, but a cell in the body of a nation.’
    • ‘Jews believe that a Jew is someone who is the child of a Jewish mother, and who has not adopted another faith.’
    • ‘The French government was more prepared to give up immigrant Jews than French Jews.’


[with object]offensive
  • Bargain with someone in a miserly or petty way.


Middle English: from Old French juiu, via Latin from Greek Ioudaios, via Aramaic from Hebrew yĕhūḏī, from yĕhūḏāh ‘Judah’ (see Judah).