Beta Israel

noun
\ ˈbe-tə- How to pronounce Beta Israel (audio) \

Definition of Beta Israel

: a people of highland Ethiopia who practice a variety of Judaism

Note: The Beta Israel are also referred to as Falasha, a term that continues in widespread use but is considered to be offensive.

First Known Use of Beta Israel

1919, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Beta Israel

borrowed from Hebrew bēyṯeʼ yiśrāʼēl (Geez betä ʼəsrāʼel), literally, "house of Israel"

Learn More About Beta Israel

Time Traveler for Beta Israel

Time Traveler

The first known use of Beta Israel was in 1919

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near Beta Israel

beta iron

Beta Israel

betake

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for Beta Israel

Cite this Entry

“Beta Israel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Beta%20Israel. Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!