Wandering Jew

plural Wandering Jews

Definition of Wandering Jew

1 : a Jew of medieval legend condemned by Christ to wander the earth until Christ's Second Coming
2 or wandering Jew, plural wandering Jews, often offensive : any of several trailing tradescantia plants (such as Tradescantia zebrina or T. fluminensis) of the spiderwort family that have showy foliage usually with stripes of white, silver, cream, pink, or purple and that are often grown as houseplants

Note: The name wandering dude is now often used as an alternate name for this plant due to the offensive nature of the historical name. Other common names for this plant are inch plant and tradescantia.

First Known Use of Wandering Jew

1632, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for Wandering Jew

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The first known use of Wandering Jew was in 1632

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Dictionary Entries Near Wandering Jew

wandering jenny

Wandering Jew


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Last Updated

23 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Wandering Jew.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Wandering%20Jew. Accessed 6 Oct. 2022.

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