golem

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noun go·lem \ˈgō-ləm, ˈgȯi-, ˈgā-\

Definition of golem

  1. 1 :  an artificial human being in Hebrew folklore endowed with life

  2. 2 :  something or someone resembling a golem: such asa :  automatonb :  blockhead

golem was our Word of the Day on 03/15/2016. Hear the podcast!

Examples of golem in a Sentence

  1. the supervisor was a golem who never had an unprogrammed thought in her life

Recent Examples of golem from the Web

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

Did You Know?

The Hebrew ancestor of the word golem meant "shapeless mass," and the original golems started as lumps of clay that were formed into figures and brought to life by means of a charm or a combination of letters forming a sacred word. In the Middle Ages, golems were thought to be the perfect servants; their only fault was that they were sometimes too literal or mechanical in fulfilling their masters' orders. In the 16th century, the golem was thought of as a protector of the Jews in times of persecution. But by the late 1800s, golem had acquired a less friendly second sense, referring to a man-made monster that inspired many of the back-from-the-dead creations of classic horror fiction.

Origin and Etymology of golem

Yiddish goylem, from Hebrew gōlem shapeless mass


First Known Use: 1897



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