geographical name
Je·​ru·​sa·​lem | \ jə-ˈrü-s(ə-)ləm How to pronounce Jerusalem (audio) , -ˈrü-z(ə-)ləm \
variants: or Arabic Al-Quds \ äl-​ˈküts How to pronounce Jerusalem (audio) \ or Hebrew Yerushalayim \ ye-​ˌrü-​shä-​ˈlī-​im How to pronounce Jerusalem (audio) \ or ancient Hierosolyma \ ˌhī-​(ə-​)rō-​ˈsä-​lə-​mə How to pronounce Jerusalem (audio) \ or biblical Jebus \ ˈjē-​bəs How to pronounce Jerusalem (audio) \

Definition of Jerusalem

city in southwestern Asia northwest of the Dead Sea; divided 1948–67 between Jordan (old city) and Israel (new city); capital of Israel since 1950 and formerly the capital of the ancient kingdoms of Israel and Judah; old city under Israeli control since 1967 population 765,000

Note: Jerusalem is a holy city for Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

Other Words from Jerusalem

Jerusalemite \ jə-​ˈrü-​sə-​lə-​ˌmīt How to pronounce Jerusalem (audio) \ noun

Learn More about Jerusalem

Statistics for Jerusalem

Cite this Entry

“Jerusalem.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2021.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on Jerusalem

Nglish: Translation of Jerusalem for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of Jerusalem for Arabic Speakers

Comments on Jerusalem

What made you want to look up Jerusalem? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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