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 Now, Johnson plans to expand bagel flavorss, as well as adding challah, ciabatta and focaccia to the bread options. Matt Wake |, al, "New bakery and cafe coming to downtown Huntsville," 19 Dec. 2019 Don’t miss: Popular seller is stuffed and deep-fried French toast made from challah bread in cinnamon batter, filled with Nutella and topped with banana. Marc Bona, cleveland, "Der Braumeister: Northeast Ohio’s best weekend brunches, breakfasts," 2 Jan. 2020 And these days, there are countless bakeries making good bread — crisp baguettes, Pullman and rye loaves, nutty whole wheat or sourdough boules, elegant brioche or challah. The New York Times News Service Syndicate, The Denver Post, "Finger sandwiches save the day," 6 Dec. 2019 And these days, there are countless bakeries making good bread — crisp baguettes, Pullman and rye loaves, nutty whole wheat or sourdough boules, elegant brioche or challah. David Tanis, New York Times, "Finger Sandwiches Save the Day," 2 Dec. 2019 These women are literally from every background, with some being religious, some not religious and some who had never heard of challah bread before. Sergio Carmona,, "Shabbat Project celebrated in South Florida with challah bakes," 22 Nov. 2019 Even with a loaf of challah or brioche, a pound of mushrooms, and a pound of ricotta, this bread pudding isn't particularly rich or heavy, which these puddings can be., "Recipe: A savory mushroom bread pudding with ricotta for the break-fast Yom Kippur table - The Boston Globe," 3 Oct. 2019 The bun, a shiny poppyseed challah roll, is baked in the shop. Mike Sutter,, "52 Weeks of Burgers: Mr. Juicy," 22 Nov. 2019 Rosemary chocolate challah; pepperjack sourdough buns; tiny, crisp baguettes, steaming, crackling, piping hot. Henry Dawson, Bon Appétit, "I Didn't Know How to Tell My Guy Friends I Cared, So I Learned to Bake," 4 Oct. 2019

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of challah was in 1907

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Statistics for challah

Last Updated

26 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Challah.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 28 January 2020.

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showing steady, earnest care and effort

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