Definition of kiddush in US English:



  • A ceremony of prayer and blessing over wine, performed by the head of a Jewish household at the meal ushering in the Sabbath (on a Friday night) or a holy day, or at the lunch preceding it.

    as modifier ‘kiddush cups’
    • ‘If you never kept Shabbat, try lighting candles and making kiddush with your family.’
    • ‘The seder begins with kiddush over the first cup of wine and then moves on to hors d' oeuvres of sweetbreads (literally intestines) in salt water passed around by a servant.’
    • ‘Sponsor a kiddush in synagogue on that day, or on the Shabbat that falls at the end of that week.’
    • ‘I learned how to make grape juice from raisins for kiddush.’
    • ‘Dozens of living rituals, from the kiddush, or Sabbath ‘blessing over wine,’ which is central to Jewish life, to the communion wine of Christianity, attest to an ancient connection between wine and civilization.’
    benediction, dedication, consecration, invocation, commendation, prayer for someone, intercession
    View synonyms


Mid 18th century: from Hebrew qiddūš ‘sanctification’.