chal·​lah | \ ˈḵä-lə How to pronounce challah (audio) , ˈhä- How to pronounce challah (audio) \
variants: or less commonly challa or
plural challoth or challot\ ˈḵä-​ˌlōt How to pronounce challot (audio) , -​ˌlōth , -​ˌlōs , ˈhä-​ \ or challahs also challas\ ˈḵä-​ləz How to pronounce challas (audio) , ˈhä-​ \ or halloth or hallot\ ˈḵä-​ˌlōt How to pronounce hallot (audio) , -​ˌlōth , -​ˌlōs , ˈhä-​ \ or hallahs\ ˈḵä-​ləz How to pronounce hallahs (audio) , ˈhä-​ \

Definition of challah

: egg-rich yeast-leavened bread that is usually braided or twisted before baking and is traditionally eaten by Jews on the Sabbath and holidays

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Challah Comes From Yiddish

When English speakers first borrowed challah from Yiddish, they couldn't quite settle on a single spelling, so the word showed up in several forms; challah, challa, hallah, and the plural forms challoth, challot, halloth, and hallot were all common enough to merit inclusion in Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged when it was released in 1961. Today, challah and the anglicized plural challahs are the variants that are usually encountered by English speakers. The initial ch of challah is frequently pronounced as a velar fricative, like the ch in the German Buch or the Scottish English loch.

Examples of challah in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

One of the most visible remnants of Jewish life in Kolkata, the 116-year-old Nahoum and Sons bakery once supplied challah, hamentashens and other Jewish specialties to a community of 6,000. Michael David Lukas, New York Times, "From Cairo to Kolkata, Traces of a Vibrant Jewish Past," 8 June 2018 For dessert, guests may choose between a pear challah bread pudding or apple crepes. Audrey Gorden, RedEye Chicago, "Ring in the Jewish New Year with these Rosh Hashana specials," 18 Sep. 2017 The lamb stack sports feta, tzatziki, tomatoes, red onion and arugula, lemon vinaigrette on a challah bun. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "House-ground burgers, sausage planned at new Mass Ave. restaurant Krueger's Tavern," 19 June 2018 The soda pairs nicely with a Lox Club ($13), which layers toasted challah with buttery slices of smoked salmon, green onion cream cheese, crisp salty bacon and juicy tomato. Sarah Gish, kansascity, "Pastrami time: 5 things to know about Broadway Deli's ‘mostly Jewish’ specialties," 8 June 2018 For the appetizer, guests may choose from homemade chopped liver, challah with apples and honey or matzo ball soup. Audrey Gorden, RedEye Chicago, "Ring in the Jewish New Year with these Rosh Hashana specials," 18 Sep. 2017 Campers participate in observances of an Oneg Shabbat, including candle lighting, challah blessing, prayers, Hebrew songs and kosher meals. Marvin Glassman, Jewish Journal, "Campers reach new heights at JCC summer camp programs," 22 June 2018 Karsh's Bakery This venerable kosher bakery, known for its handmade challah and rye breads, Kaiser rolls and Jewish pastries, fell victim to the times. azcentral, "Iconic Arizona businesses that are closed," 4 Nov. 2014 Broadway Deli's Lox Club sandwich piles toasted challah bread with green onion cream cheese, smoked salmon, bacon and tomato. Sarah Gish, kansascity, "Pastrami time: 5 things to know about Broadway Deli's ‘mostly Jewish’ specialties," 8 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of challah

1907, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for challah

Yiddish khale, from Hebrew ḥallāh

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Time Traveler for challah

The first known use of challah was in 1907

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