Se·​phar·​di sə-ˈfär-dē How to pronounce Sephardi (audio)
plural Sephardim sə-ˈfär-dəm How to pronounce Sephardi (audio)
: a member of the occidental branch of European Jews settling in Spain and Portugal and later in the Balkans, the Levant, England, the Netherlands, and the Americas
also : one of their descendants compare ashkenazi
Sephardic adjective

Examples of Sephardi in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Rabbi Yehuda Glick, a former member of Israel's Knesset, wrote a letter addressed to Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, the Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel, and Rabbi David Lau, the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, calling for unified prayer for the sake of the country, reported the website Israel365. Christine Rousselle, Fox News, 4 Nov. 2023 Isabelle Lira, a Sephardi heiress and businesswoman, is on a quest for a husband. Olivia Waite, New York Times, 16 Aug. 2023 Ashkenazi and many Sephardi families eschew roasted lamb in deference to the destruction of the Second Temple in ancient Jerusalem, where lambs were traditionally sacrificed on the eve of Passover. Leah Koenig, Washington Post, 31 Mar. 2023 Aryeh Deri, leader of the ultra-Orthodox Sephardi party Shas, will serve as interior minister and minister of health. Rob Picheta, CNN, 29 Dec. 2022 An Ashkenazi + Sephardi cluster, a Mizrachi cluster, and finally, a, Yemeni cluster. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 17 Jan. 2011 The community grew over the centuries — most notably with the arrival of Sephardi Jews from Spain and Sicily in the wake of the Spanish Inquisition. Leah Koenig, Washington Post, 31 Mar. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Late Hebrew sĕphāradhī, from sĕphāradh Spain, from Hebrew, region where Jews were once exiled (Obadiah 1:20)

First Known Use

1851, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Sephardi was in 1851

Dictionary Entries Near Sephardi

Cite this Entry

“Sephardi.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

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