Definition of mikveh in English:


(also mikva, mikvah)


  • A bath in which certain Jewish ritual purifications are performed.

    • ‘A permanent synagogue, Shearith Israel, including a school and a mikveh (ritual bath), was completed in 1731.’
    • ‘Both male and female must then immerse in a valid mikveh.’
    • ‘So the end of the story is I went to the mikveh and renounced my Christianity.’
    • ‘The area is marked by many mikvehs, or ritual baths, in which every Jew entering the Temple area had to immerse.’
    • ‘Only mikvehs (ritual purification baths) will operate as usual.’
    • ‘Then we started keeping Shabbat, then kashrut, then I started to go to the mikveh.’
    • ‘When an excited Miri and her mother left the mikveh on Monday evening, they found on their cellphone a message from Miri's only sister, 18-year-old Sharon.’
    • ‘On January 7, 2003, I stepped into the waters of the mikveh.’
    • ‘Under the guidelines, new converts should spend at least a year engaged in Jewish study, face a panel of three rabbis or learned Jews and be immersed in a mikveh, or ritual bath.’
    • ‘‘I remember as a young girl going to the mikveh,’ Rachel explains.’


Mid 19th century: from Yiddish mikve, from Hebrew miqweh, literally collection (usually of water).