Jew


Jew
/jooh/, n.
1. one of a scattered group of people that traces its descent from the Biblical Hebrews or from postexilic adherents of Judaism; Israelite.
2. a person whose religion is Judaism.
3. a subject of the ancient kingdom of Judah.
adj.
4. Offensive. of Jews; Jewish.
v.t.
5. (l.c.) Offensive. to bargain sharply with; beat down in price (often fol. by down).
[1125-75; ME jewe, giu, gyu, ju < OF juiu, juieu, gyu < LL judeus, L judaeus < Gk ioudaîos < Aram yehudai < Heb Yahudhi, deriv. of Yahudhah JUDAH; r. OE iudeas Jews < LL jude(us) + OE -as pl. ending]

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Any person whose religion is Judaism.

In a wider sense the term refers to any member of a worldwide ethnic and cultural group descended from the ancient Hebrews who traditionally practiced the Jewish religion. The Hebrew term Yehudi, translated as Judaeus in Latin and Jew in English, originally referred to a member of the tribe of Judah. In Jewish tradition, any child born of a Jewish mother is considered a Jew; in Reform Judaism a child is considered a Jew if either parent is Jewish.

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people
Hebrew  Yĕhūdhī , or  Yehudi 

      any person whose religion is Judaism (q.v.). In the broader sense of the term, a Jew is any person belonging to the worldwide group that constitutes, through descent or conversion, a continuation of the ancient Jewish people, who were themselves descendants of the Hebrews of the Old Testament. In ancient times, a Yĕhūdhī was originally a member of Judahi.e., either of the tribe of Judah (one of the 12 tribes that took possession of the Promised Land) or of the subsequent Kingdom of Judah (in contrast to the rival Kingdom of Israel to the north). The Jewish people as a whole, initially called Hebrews (ʿIvrim), were known as Israelites (Israelite) (Yisreʾelim) from the time of their entrance into the Holy Land to the end of the Babylonian Exile (538 BC). Thereafter, the term Yĕhūdhī (Latin: Judaeus; French: Juif; German: Jude; and English: Jew) was used to signify all adherents of Judaism, because the survivors of the Exile (former inhabitants of the Kingdom of Judah) were the only Israelites who had retained their distinctive identity. (The 10 tribes of the northern kingdom of Israel had been dispersed after the Assyrian conquest of 721 BC and were gradually assimilated by other peoples). The term Jew is thus derived through the Latin Judaeus and the Greek Ioudaios from the Hebrew Yĕhūdhī. The latter term is an adjective occurring only in the later parts of the Old Testament and signifying a descendant of Yehudhah (Judah), the fourth son of Jacob, whose tribe, together with that of his half brother Benjamin, constituted the Kingdom of Judah.

      In the modern world, a definition of Jew that would be satisfactory to all is virtually impossible to construct, for it involves ethnic and religious issues that are both complex and controversial. In daily life, for example, those who consider themselves Jews are generally accepted as such by Jews and non-Jews alike, even though such persons may not observe religious practices. While all Jews agree that a child born of a Jewish mother is Jewish, Reform Judaism goes beyond Orthodoxy and Conservative Judaism in affirming that a child is Jewish if either one of the parents is a Jew.

      From a purely religious standpoint, Gentile converts to Judaism are accepted as Jewish in the fullest sense of the word; but in Israel the rabbinate has often placed obstacles in the registration of Jews who were not converted under the supervision of Orthodox rabbis. For this reason the chief rabbinate of Israel has been confronted in recent years with perplexing problems regarding the religious status of certain immigrants. The Supreme Court of Israel, however, has been making incursions into rabbinic interpretations of personal status. Citizens of the State of Israel are called Israelis, a term carrying no ethnological or religious connotations.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • JEW — (Heb. יְהוּדִי, Yehudi). Semantics The word Jew passed into the English language from the Greek (Ioudaios) by way of the Latin (Judaeus), and is found in early English (from about the year 1000) in a variety of forms: Iudea, Gyu, Giu, Iuu, Iuw,… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • jew — jew; jew·el·er; jew·el·lery; jew·el·ry; jew·ely; jew·ess; jew·ish·ness; jew·ism; jew·ry; jew·el; jew·ish; jew·el·ler; jew·el·ly; jew·ish·ly; …   English syllables

  • Jew — Jew, n. [OF. Juis, pl., F. Juif, L. Judaeus, Gr. ?, fr. ? the country of the Jews, Judea, fr. Heb. Y[e^]h[=u]d[=a]h Judah, son of Jacob. Cf. {Judaic}.] 1. Originally, one belonging to the tribe or kingdom of Judah; after the return from the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • jew —    ‘Jew’, used as a term of address, now tends to be aggressive but was not always so. In literature it occurs from time to time. especially in plays or books like The Merchant of Venice where a Jewish character is important to the plot. Shylock… …   A dictionary of epithets and terms of address

  • jew — (v.) to cheat, to drive a hard bargain, 1824, from JEW (Cf. Jew) (n.) (Cf. GYP (Cf. gyp), WELSH (Cf. welsh), etc.). The campaign to eliminate it in early 20c. was so successful that people began to avoid the noun and adjective, too, and started… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Jew — (n.) late 12c. (in plural, giwis), from Anglo Fr. iuw, O.Fr. giu, from L. Judaeum (nom. Judaeus), from Gk. Ioudaios, from Aramaic jehudhai (Heb. y hudi) Jew, from Y hudah Judah, lit. celebrated, name of Jacob s fourth son and of the tribe… …   Etymology dictionary

  • jew — [jo͞o] vt. [< JEW, by assoc. with occupation of Jews as moneylenders in Middle Ages] Slang to swindle; cheat; gyp to swindle; cheat; gyp jew someone down to get or bargain for better terms from someone in a business transaction, esp. in a… …   English World dictionary

  • Jew|ry — «JOO ree», noun, plural ries. 1. Jews as a group; Jewish people. 2. Archaic. a district where Jews live; ghetto. 3. Archaic. the land of the Jews: »Alexas did revolt, and went to Jewry On affairs of Antony (Shakespeare). ╂[< Old French juerie… …   Useful english dictionary

  • jew|el — «JOO uhl», noun, verb, eled, el|ing or (especially British) elled, el|ling. –n. 1. a precious stone; gem. 2. a) a valuable ornament to be worn, set with precious stones: »Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop s …   Useful english dictionary

  • Jew — [dʒu:] n [Date: 1100 1200; : Old French; Origin: gyu, from Latin Judaeus, from Greek Ioudaios, from Hebrew Yehudhi, from Yehudhah Judah, Jewish kingdom ] someone whose religion is Judaism, or who is a member of a group whose traditional religion… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Jew — [ dʒu ] noun count * 1. ) a member of the group of people who lived in Israel and believed in Judaism in ancient times, and who now live in many places all over the world, including Israel 2. ) someone who believes in Judaism …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English


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