Definition of Purim in US English:



  • A lesser Jewish festival held in spring (on the 14th or 15th day of Adar) to commemorate the defeat of Haman's plot to massacre the Jews as recorded in the book of Esther.

    • ‘We hope and pray with Jews - and humanity - all over the world that this truly will be a new Purim, and that soon we will store away these masks as well, but this time, forever.’
    • ‘Maybe you've heard of Esther - the exiled orphan who became queen of the Persian Empire, saved her people from slaughter, and inspired the Jewish holiday of Purim.’
    • ‘The festive Purim meal, the sending of food gifts, the encouragement to drink to excess - these are matters that deal with the body.’
    • ‘Those who stayed in Bulgaria were ordered by the communists to celebrate no Jewish holy days except Purim and Hannukah, and there were directives about how these could be celebrated.’
    • ‘The same thing can be learned by Purim, because on Purim the Jews reaccepted the Torah.’
    • ‘This time they are not gas masks, but the traditional costumes celebrating the Jewish festival of Purim.’
    • ‘The couple were going to a party to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim at London's Kabbalah Centre..’
    • ‘Stalin's death on Purim (a major Jewish holiday which celebrates overcoming oppression) in 1953, meant freedom for Rosner.’
    • ‘But the question remains - does drinking on Purim adversely affect the collective social health of the Jewish community?’
    • ‘But Joey called from the bus transporting them to wish me a happy Purim.’
    • ‘Their language is ancient Hebrew and their religion is akin to Judaism, although it does not contain modifications that Jews added over the past 3,000 years, such as the festivals of Purim and Hanukkah.’
    • ‘This question is strengthened by a glance at other holidays that also have a story behind them, namely, Pesach, Succot, Tisha B'av and Purim.’
    • ‘Cox describes the Jewish holiday of Purim, on which the defeat of Haman is celebrated by the reading of the book of Esther.’
    • ‘He was in his apartment, and had been fasting all day for the Fast of Esther, on the eve of Purim.’
    • ‘The Rama writes that one should have somewhat of a festive meal during the night of Purim in addition to the meal we eat the next day.’
    • ‘Rabbi Shimon Ben Gamliel holds that we should commemorate Purim during the second Adar.’
    • ‘With Purim right around the corner, I hoped that this year those words would finally come to fruition.’
    • ‘At Purim Jews read the story of Esther in the synagogue.’
    • ‘There are 7 holidays in the Jewish year: Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Chanukah, Purim, Passover, and Shavuot.’
    • ‘I questioned when one of them gave the Arab drivers the presents we had received from Jewish drivers for Purim!’


Hebrew, plural of pūr, explained in the book of Esther (3:7, 9:24) as meaning ‘lot’, with allusion to the casting of lots by Haman.