Is·​ra·​el | \ ˈiz-rē-əl How to pronounce Israel (audio) , -(ˌ)rā- How to pronounce Israel (audio) also ˈis- or ˈiz-rəl \

Definition of Israel

2 : the Jewish people
3 : a people chosen by God

Other Words from Israel

Israel adjective

First Known Use of Israel

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for Israel

Middle English, from Old English, from Late Latin, from Greek Israēl, from Hebrew Yiśrā'ēl

Learn More About Israel

Time Traveler for Israel

Time Traveler

The first known use of Israel was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near Israel



Israel ben Eliezer

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for Israel

Cite this Entry

“Israel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jun. 2022.

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

More Definitions for Israel

Israel geographical name

Is·​ra·​el | \ ˈiz-rē(-ə)l How to pronounce Israel (audio) , -(ˌ)rā(-ə)l also ˈis- or ˈiz-rəl \

Definition of Israel

1 kingdom in ancient Palestine comprising the lands occupied by the Hebrew people; established about 1025 b.c.; divided about 933 b.c. into a southern kingdom (Judah) and a northern kingdom (Israel)
2 or Northern Kingdom or Ephraim \ ˈē-​frē-​əm How to pronounce Israel (audio) \ the northern portion of the Hebrew kingdom after the division; capital Samaria
3 country in southwestern Asia bordering on the Mediterranean Sea in the northwest, the Sinai Peninsula in the southwest, the Gulf of Aqaba at the southern tip, and the Dead Sea on the east; a republic established 1948; capital Jerusalem area 7993 square miles (20,782 square kilometers), population 7,412,200 — see palestine — see also israeli

More from Merriam-Webster on Israel

Nglish: Translation of Israel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of Israel for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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