Definition of sabra in English:



  • A Jew born in Israel (or before 1948 in Palestine)

    • ‘There were Ashkenazim and Sephardim, Ethiopians and Russians, American students and fourth-generation sabras.’
    • ‘Another case, seen as a natural experiment, involved the marital choices of Israeli sabra, co-reared kibbutz children.’
    • ‘She couldn't be more of a sabra, growing up working in the kibbutz cowshed on Mount Gilboa.’
    • ‘My neighbor, Orly, who is a sabra, a native Israeli, comes over and calls Koby's teacher and is told: he hasn't been in school.’
    • ‘Any sabra age five and up, in my experience, can differentiate instantaneously between Arab and Jew - when in doubt I've always been able to ask my children - but I'm not in possession of that elusive sixth sense.’
    • ‘My former student Ori, the groom, is a sabra whose family emigrated to America, and this created the unforgettable experience of a highly traditional Jewish wedding under the redwoods of the Sonoma Coast.’
    • ‘Native born of German ancestry, his character is drawn to evoke a sense of home: sabra, Jew, son of a Mossad operative, raised on a kibbutz, he is thrice child of Israel.’
    • ‘‘Am I mistaken,’ I asked a friend, a 50-something sabra whose son is an Israeli air force pilot, ‘or is the excitement that usually leads up to the holiday muted this year, if not entirely absent?’’
    • ‘The ensemble thus evoked a triple nostalgia: for childhood, for European lives and languages, and for the rich, melancholy Jewishness repressed by sabra swagger.’


From modern Hebrew ṣabbār opuntia fruit (opuntias being common in coastal regions of Israel).