drei·​del | \ ˈdrā-dᵊl How to pronounce dreidel (audio) \
variants: or less commonly dreidl

Definition of dreidel

1 : a 4-sided toy marked with Hebrew letters and spun like a top in a game of chance
2 : a children's game of chance played especially at Hanukkah with a dreidel

Illustration of dreidel

Illustration of dreidel

dreidel 1

Examples of dreidel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Banners, members of The Temple in Midtown, always leave instructions for how to play dreidel so everyone can have fun and win some chocolate. Ben Brasch, ajc, "Youths continue holiday cheer tradition at Children’s Healthcare," 24 Dec. 2020 Trixie Minx’s holiday burlesque features a mix of naughty and nice acts as well as her risqué dreidel routine and a stripping Santa. NOLA.com, "Home for the Holidays benefit, holiday burlesque and more New Orleans events coming up this week," 21 Dec. 2020 Some customs practiced are: preparing potato pancakes in oil, playing the game of dreidel, and giving children money (coins) called Hanakkah gelt. The Rev. Ellin Dize, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Dize: Jesus is the reason for the season; swing the pendulum in the direction of love | RELIGION COMMENTARY," 19 Dec. 2020 Via Skype, Zoom or phone, an actor will connect with a young person in your household for a time-traveling, dreidel-playing adventure (untitledtheater.com, through Dec. 20). New York Times, "Cozy Up With Holiday Plays," 12 Dec. 2020 But during one Hanukkah, her mom spins the gift-giving tradition like a dreidel (forgive the pun!) and surprises her kids. Michelle Rogers, The Arizona Republic, "Annual holiday storytelling show to be held at drive-in," 2 Dec. 2020 For eight nights, a multicultural array of neighbors helps the kids improvise — a hoolah hoop transforms into a perfect dreidel, for instance. Penny Schwartz, sun-sentinel.com, "From llamas to a Jewish superhero, children’s books bring new characters to Hanukkah story," 3 Nov. 2020 Hanukkah has both historical and spiritual meaning in the Jewish religion, and is celebrated by lighting the menorah, eating fried foods, and playing dreidel. Stefanie Gordon, Woman's Day, "The Meaning of Hanukkah Goes Beyond 8 Nights of Gifts," 27 Aug. 2020 The number of good Hanukkah books for children is as dizzying as a spinning dreidel. Ryan E. Smith, Cincinnati.com, "Hanukkah books for kids come with important lessons," 20 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dreidel.' 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 dreidel

1916, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dreidel

Yiddish dreydl, from dreyen to turn, from Middle High German drǣjen, from Old High German drāen — more at throw entry 1

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The first known use of dreidel was in 1916

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Last Updated

8 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dreidel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dreidel. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on dreidel

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dreidel

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