Definition of ma nishtana in US English:

ma nishtana

(also mah nishtannah, mah nishtanah)


  • The four questions in the Passover Haggadah traditionally asked by the youngest member of a Jewish household on Seder Night, the answers to which explain the meaning of the ceremonies; this part of the Passover celebrations.


Early 20th century; earliest use found in The Jewish Chronicle. From Hebrew mah ništannā ha-layla ha-zeh mikkol ha-lēlōṯ? ‘What makes this night different from all other nights?’, formulaic beginning of the four questions in the Passover Haggadah.


ma nishtana