Definition of tallith in US English:


(also tallis)


  • A fringed shawl traditionally worn by Jewish men at prayer.

    • ‘Stop by a synagogue in Dublin or Dusseldorf on a Friday evening or Saturday morning, the way I did, and you will see worshipers donning the same traditional yarmulkes and talliths.’
    • ‘Back in the redwoods in January 1997, a caravan of 100 worshippers - some wearing talliths, or fringed prayer shawls, as Jews have for thousands of years - hiked onto the timber firm's property and planted two dozen redwood seedlings along a barren stream bank.’
    • ‘Then father came and wrapped me in his tallith and brought me back to my bed.’
    • ‘They linked their talliths (prayer shawls) into a huppah (wedding canopy) and ordered us to squat beneath it.’
    • ‘Furthermore, it was not the tallith itself that had a religious significance, but the ‘tassels.’’
    • ‘Jewish patients at NYM enjoy regular visits by one of Pastoral Care's Rabbi's, who can provide other worship materials (talliths, tfillin), and be reached at any hour during a crisis.’
    • ‘On the eve of Yom Kippur the service begins before sunset, while it is still day, and therefore the tallith is worn on this occasion.’
    • ‘Also gone were all the writings in Hebrew (except medical texts) and all objects utilized in Jewish rituals, such as menorahs, mezuzahs, mizrahs, shofars, ceremonial knives used for circumcision, Torah covers and talliths.’
    • ‘The shul is brightly lit and the men, in their white talliths, sing and dance holding the Torah rolls in their arms, with the children waving their colourful banners.’
    • ‘There are over 160 ceremonial and personal cloths - parokhets and Torah mantles, circumcision cloths and ornate talliths, hallah covers, tablecloths, pincushions, caps, bags, and more, photographed in full color to show the exquisite work and the care taken in handing them down through generations.’
    • ‘At the age of six, I myself wore a tallith katan, or scapular, under my shirt, only mine was a scrap of green calico print, whereas theirs are white linen.’
    • ‘They don talliths (prayer shawls) over their tweeds and attend the services of Louis Himmelfarb, dying unassimilated of cancer in a Catholic hospital.’


From Rabbinical Hebrew ṭallīt, from biblical Hebrew ṭillel ‘to cover’.