Semitic

1 of 2

adjective

Se·​mit·​ic sə-ˈmi-tik How to pronounce Semitic (audio)
also
-ˈme- How to pronounce Semitic (audio)
1
: of, relating to, or constituting a subfamily of the Afro-Asiatic language family that includes Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, and Amharic
2
: of, relating to, or characteristic of the Semites
3
: jewish

Semitic

2 of 2

noun

: any or all of the Semitic languages

Examples of Semitic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
It is currently housed in the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, where, from 1922 to 1931, Dr. Barton taught Semitic languages and the history of religion. Franz Lidz, New York Times, 13 Feb. 2024 Member of Parliament Yassine Mami has pointed out that Hannibal, who was born in 247 BC in Carthage — now known as Tunis, the Tunisian capital — was of West Asian Semitic origin. Variety, NBC News, 11 Dec. 2023 Member of Parliament Yassine Mami has pointed out that Hannibal, who was born in 247 BC in Carthage – now known as Tunis, the Tunisian capital – was of West Asian Semitic origin. Nick Vivarelli, Variety, 11 Dec. 2023 Haddi has the gift of seeing the nature of the subjects in front of his lens, telling their story with both irony and wisdom, honouring the meaning of his name: 'he who sees,' in the Semitic language. Photovogue, Vogue, 16 Oct. 2023 Unlike western Eurasia, with its plethora of early methods for recording language, including Sumerian cuneiform, Egyptian hieroglyphics, Hittite, Minoan, and the Semitic alphabet, China developed just one writing system. Jared Diamond, Discover Magazine, 11 Nov. 2019

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

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

German semitisch, from Semit, Semite Semite, probably from New Latin Semita, from Late Latin Sem Shem

First Known Use

Adjective

1800, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1831, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Semitic was in 1800

Dictionary Entries Near Semitic

Cite this Entry

“Semitic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Semitic. Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

Semitic

adjective
Se·​mit·​ic
sə-ˈmit-ik
: of or relating to the Semites
especially : of, relating to, or characteristic of the Jews
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