Wandering Jew


plural Wandering Jews
: a Jew of medieval legend condemned by Christ to wander the earth until Christ's Second Coming
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.

Word History

First Known Use

1632, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of Wandering Jew was in 1632

Dictionary Entries Near Wandering Jew

Cite this Entry

“Wandering Jew.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Wandering%20Jew. Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

wandering Jew

: any of several creeping or trailing plants often grown for their showy leaves
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