: a person belonging to a continuation through descent or conversion of the ancient Jewish people
: one whose religion is Judaism
: a member of the tribe of Judah
: a member of a nation existing in Palestine from the sixth century b.c. to the first century a.d.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Kahn, who wrote the script with Nathalie Hertzberg, was inspired to make the movie after reading the defendant’s autobiography, Obscure Memories of a Polish Jew Born in France, which Goldman penned in prison and which turned him into a hero among the intelligentsia. Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 May 2023 But to be a Jew in Paris in the late 1930s is to live within the loop of an ever-tightening noose. Lauren Elkin, Washington Post, 16 May 2023 The Soviet Union was a terrible place to be a Jew; god, was the fruit delicious. Ruth Madievsky, Good Housekeeping, 10 May 2023 Four members from the House of Lords—one Jew, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh—will hand Charles objects of the royal regalia, one of the key procedures at the coronation ceremony. Conor Murray, Forbes, 5 May 2023 Also in Holland was Friedrich Weinreb, a Hasidic Jew who ran a scam selling spots on a list that supposedly protected his marks from deportation to death camps. Scott Martelle, Washington Post, 3 May 2023 Tech executive Ronen Keler, from beachy, foodie, liberal Tel Aviv, is a secular Jew. Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY, 2 May 2023 One of the better known and vividly told stories in Grabar’s book is of the shopping mall designer Victor Gruen, a Viennese Jew and socialist, who fled Austria after the Nazi occupation in 1938. Max Holleran, The New Republic, 25 Apr. 2023 My grandfather was a 23-year-old, six-foot-tall American Jew who could hardly pronounce the French phrases listed on the notecard he’d been told to read if shot down. Katie Sanders, Smithsonian Magazine, 19 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Jew.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Anglo-French ju, jeu, from Latin Judaeus, from Greek Ioudaios, from Hebrew Yĕhūdhī, from Yĕhūdhāh Judah, Jewish kingdom

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of Jew was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near Jew

Cite this Entry

“Jew.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Jew. Accessed 30 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


: one of the ancient Hebrews or a descendant of the ancient Hebrews
: one whose religion is Judaism

More from Merriam-Webster on Jew

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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