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 Meanwhile, on the floor in the living room, the kids had gathered around in a circle and were playing a rousing game of dreidel. NBC News, "I refused to create a Jewish version of Christmas for my kids. Here's what I did instead.," 23 Dec. 2019 Last year was the first that Kaltmann hired a helicopter to drop dreidels and candy from the sky for children. Danae King, Cincinnati.com, "Hanukkah celebrations become larger, more elaborate in relation to Christmas," 23 Dec. 2019 Other Hanukkah festivities include playing the game of dreidel and serve tasty treats, many of which are fried in oil. Editors, USA TODAY, "Hanukkah, winter solstice, Eddie Murphy returns to 'SNL': 5 things to know this weekend," 21 Dec. 2019 For Jewish people around the world, Hanukkah is marked by lighting candles on the menorah for eight nights, eating latkes and spinning the dreidel. Rachel E. Greenspan, Time, "The Real Reason American Jews Give Gifts During Hanukkah," 20 Dec. 2019 Children can learn how to wire LED menorahs, make a fidget dreidels and other Chanukah crafts, while attendees dig into the shawarma bar, falafel and brisket latkes. Anchorage Daily News, "This week: Chanukah festival, Polar Plunge and Bearfoot is back at the Bluegrass Ball," 19 Dec. 2019 There will be latkes, dreidels and a menorah lighting on the ice. Savannah Eadens, The Courier-Journal, "A Louisville family is celebrating Hanukkah by performing 18,000 acts of kindness in 2020," 18 Dec. 2019 Winners of the dreidel toy spin receive one as a prize. oregonlive, "Oregon families celebrate the holidays at home with well-loved traditions," 18 Dec. 2019 Between scenes, the curtain bears a projection of a spinning dreidel, evoking Ms. Neuwirth’s Jewish heritage and the games of chance inherent in every life — especially one, like Orlando’s, stretching over more than 300 years. Ben Miller, New York Times, "A Female Composer Makes History With ‘Orlando’ in Vienna," 6 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 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dreidel.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dreidel. Accessed 18 January 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on dreidel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dreidel

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dreidel

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