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 Al-Quds (audio) \ or Hebrew Yerushalayim \ ye-​ˌrü-​shä-​ˈlī-​im How to pronounce Yerushalayim (audio) \ or ancient Hierosolyma \ ˌhī-​(ə-​)rō-​ˈsä-​lə-​mə How to pronounce Hierosolyma (audio) \ or biblical Jebus \ ˈjē-​bəs How to pronounce Jebus (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 Jerusalemite (audio) \ noun

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).


a small bunch of flowers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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