Late Hebrew qĕrāīm Karaites, from Hebrew qārā to read
First Known Use: circa 1883
Jewish religious movement that denied the authenticity of the oral law and defended the Hebrew Bible as the only basis of doctrine and practice. It originated in 8th-century Persia, where its members were called Ananites after Anan ben David, who worked out a code of life independent of the Talmud. Members later adopted the name Karaites from the Hebrew qara (to read), emphasizing their reliance on a personal reading of the Bible. The movement spread through Egypt and Syria, winning only small numbers of followers and enduring many schisms. It still has about 10,000 members in Israel.