Definition of shekel in US English:



  • 1The basic monetary unit of modern Israel, equal to 100 agorot.

    • ‘The rail company has already invested 200 million shekels to lay 250 kilometres of fibre optic cables.’
    • ‘Growth has ground to a halt, unemployment has shot up, and the shekel has dropped in value.’
    • ‘I was about to give her a shekel when something about her expression made me look again, and my hand hesitated in embarrassment.’
    • ‘A shekel buys 15 minutes of game time.’
    • ‘The injection of additional dollars would only fuel further Israeli inflation, and push the shekel toward serious devaluation.’
    • ‘They received five shekels [about £0.60] in order to throw them.’
    • ‘This takes time, effort and a not inconsiderable number of dollars, pounds, baht or shekels.’
    • ‘The minimum that one can give to fulfill this commandment is one-third of a shekel per year.’
    • ‘The shekel is the measure of money; bargaining is the prototype of all other exchange.’
    • ‘Foreign investment has fallen by two thirds and revenues from tourism have halved, undermining Israel's currency, the shekel.’
    • ‘This week, British pound trades to a five-week high against the dollar; the Swedish krona trades to a three-year high; the South African rand to a 2 ½ year high; the Israeli shekel to a 15-month high.’
    • ‘Israelis claim to have found a counterfeiting press in Ramallah - one for faking shekels, not dollars.’
    • ‘Gedalya also found a million and a half shekels as well as dollars - all counterfeit.’
    • ‘And, more importantly for the city, the millions of Jews worldwide who regularly visit memorials in other cities and other nations, will not be spending their dollars and shekels here.’
    • ‘I'll use any dollars or euros or yen or shekels thrown my way to keep this site online, and if folks do kick in, I promise to try and write more frequently as a token of my appreciation.’
    • ‘Does 150 shekels represent a lot of money for you?’
    • ‘After three years of little or no inflation, consumer prices increased by 6.3 percent in the first six months of the year on the back of a sharp depreciation of the shekel.’
    • ‘On the downside, the Thai baht dipped 0.8%, the Israeli shekel 0.5%, and the Hungarian forint 0.5%.’
    • ‘Knafo, a part-time cook in a day-care center, received a monthly income supplement of 2,500 shekels.’
    • ‘On the upside, the Jamaica dollar and Israeli shekel gained 0.8%.’
    1. 1.1historical A silver coin and unit of weight used in ancient Israel and the Middle East.
      • ‘Ephron has named a price - a pretty stiff price; a shekel was a measure of weight, 11.5 grams; four hundred shekels would amount to 10.6 pounds of silver.’
      • ‘And I bought the field of Hanameel my uncle's son, that was in Anathoth, and weighed him the money, even seventeen shekels of silver.’
      • ‘The man took out a gold nose ring weighing a beka and two gold bracelets weighing ten shekels.’
      • ‘And king Solomon made two hundred targets of beaten gold: six hundred shekels of gold went to one target.’
      • ‘And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass.’
    2. 1.2shekelsinformal Money; wealth.
      ‘thank you for saving me time, not to mention hard-won shekels’
      • ‘With the demise of this wine style, many Australian vineyards of very old Grenache vines were torn out, for a few shekels of government compensation.’
      • ‘All that awaits you now, Bheki, is, I trust, money - lots of lovely lolly, latkes, folding green stuff, shekels.’
      • ‘To avert feline catastrophe, head over to the blog deemed Most Deserving of Wider Recognition and drop a few shekels in the tip jar.’
      money, wealth, finance, finances, funds, cash, hard cash, lucre, filthy lucre, wherewithal, means, assets, liquid assets, capital, resources, reserves, deep pockets
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From Hebrew šeqel, from šāqal ‘weigh’.