variants or less commonly briss
: the Jewish rite of circumcision

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Video from Khan’s own bris ceremony, in 1988, shows a big party, complete with bagel spread—exactly the kind of gathering that was unthinkable during that first pandemic winter, pre-vaccine. Alex Kahn, The New Yorker, 27 July 2022 One such family was that of Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, who broke the law and held a bris eight days after his son’s birth. Caren Schnur Neile, Sun Sentinel, 5 Sep. 2022 The gravitational pull of tradition had already begun to decline—as Khan mentions, plenty of parents forgo the bris, for good reasons—but the pandemic opened a decisive rupture between past and future. Alex Kahn, The New Yorker, 27 July 2022 Naturally, the situation spirals out of control in the run-up to the baby’s bris. Ryan Parker, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 Mar. 2022 The photographer assigned to shoot a bris, a ritual circumcision, hadn’t shown up, and the baby’s grandmother was panicking. New York Times, 31 Dec. 2021 For Mile End's Tietolman, the deli is always there for people, from the start of life at a bris to the end of life at a shiva. Noah Sheidlower And Radhika Marya, CNN, 7 Nov. 2021 Moral of the story: Never hire a drunk rabbi to perform a bris. Larry Fitzmaurice, Vulture, 1 Sep. 2021 In a bris, a baby is welcomed not just into one family but into a covenantal community. Aaron Regunberg, The New Republic, 13 Aug. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bris.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Yiddish bris, short for bris-mile, from Hebrew bĕrīth mīlāh, literally, covenant of circumcision

First Known Use

circa 1934, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bris was circa 1934

Dictionary Entries Near bris

Cite this Entry

“Bris.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition



variants also briss
: the Jewish rite of circumcision
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.