Yid·​dish ˈyi-dish How to pronounce Yiddish (audio)
: a High German language written in Hebrew characters that is spoken by Jews and descendants of Jews of central and eastern European origin
Yiddish adjective

Examples of Yiddish in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web His parents, Morris and Estelle (Lichtenstein) Rothenberg, operated a dry goods store in the Bronx, where Jerome grew up speaking Yiddish at home. Clay Risen, New York Times, 5 May 2024 Harry Pila, an athletic teenager, spoke fluent French, Flemish, and Yiddish, plus a smattering of Polish. Hollace Ava Weiner, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 8 Apr. 2024 Jewish Music Festival: Yiddish Music, 7:30 p.m., Plum Street Temple, 720 Plum St., West End. Luann Gibbs, The Enquirer, 10 Mar. 2024 Aaron Lansky spent a lifetime building the Yiddish Book Center, one of the country’s leading Jewish cultural institutions. New York Times, 29 Feb. 2024 People who know a little Yiddish will enjoy the sprinkling of that language's flavorful words throughout the script. Jim Higgins, Journal Sentinel, 28 Feb. 2024 The word means to fuss or waste time in Yiddish, though dining at this Jewish deli is always time well spent. Usa Today Network, USA TODAY, 15 Feb. 2024 New York City Mayor Eric Adams has used AI software to translate his voice into languages such as Yiddish, Spanish, and Mandarin. Jacob Stern, The Atlantic, 31 Jan. 2024 Other grandfather nicknames tied to culture and background among the respondents include Opa (German), Zayde (Yiddish), Ojiisan (Japanese), Vovô (Portuguese), Daideo (Irish), and Dedushka (Russian). Kristi Pahr, Parents, 30 Jan. 2024

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

Word History


Yiddish yidish, short for yidish daytsh, literally, Jewish German, from Middle High German jüdisch diutsch, from jüdisch Jewish (from Jude Jew) + diutsch German

First Known Use

1871, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Yiddish was in 1871

Dictionary Entries Near Yiddish

Cite this Entry

“Yiddish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Yiddish. Accessed 22 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


Yid·​dish ˈyid-ish How to pronounce Yiddish (audio)
: a language that began among the Jews of eastern Europe and is based on German and written in the Hebrew alphabet
Yiddish adjective

from Yiddish yidish, a shortened form of yidish daytsh, literally "Jewish German (language)," derived from early German jüdisch "Jewish" and diutsch "the German language"

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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