go·​lem | \ ˈgō-ləm How to pronounce golem (audio) , ˈgȯi-, ˈgā- How to pronounce golem (audio) \

Definition of golem

1 : an artificial human being in Hebrew folklore endowed with life
2 : something or someone resembling a golem: such as
a : automaton
b : blockhead

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for golem



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

The Evolution of Golem

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.

Examples of golem in a Sentence

the supervisor was a golem who never had an unprogrammed thought in her life
Recent Examples on the Web But their mission — to take down Cara Delevingne’s undersketched witch, Enchantress, and her giant golem-like brother — is a bit of a bust. Bilge Ebiri, Vulture, 6 Aug. 2021 In the back half of Helene Wecker’s new book, The Hidden Palace—a sequel to her popular 2013 novel, The Golem and the Jinni—the golem gets a new job. Adam Rogers, Wired, 10 June 2021 This entire damage mitigation thing kicked off when PCF patched out a bug that allowed a permanent golem protection shield, reducing damage for an entire run. Paul Tassi, Forbes, 27 May 2021 For a playground in Jerusalem in 1971, Saint Phalle designed a black-and-white golem, its rippling walls indebted to Gaudí, with three slides formed from its three giant tongues. Jason Farago, New York Times, 8 Apr. 2021 The Flamelurker, an imposing golem of fire, looks like a Diablo monster. Julie Muncy, Wired, 24 Nov. 2020 In Jewish folklore, a golem is a creature fashioned of clay and brought to life by magic, its Hebrew name suggesting something incomplete or unfinished. Kathleen Rooney, Star Tribune, 30 Oct. 2020 When the dust cleared, the golem lay in pieces across the dungeon floor. L.j. Kilgore, Ars Technica, 28 June 2020 But given the hitman’s status as a death-dealing golem the Mob occasionally unleashes on its enemies, De Niro’s creaky movement mostly works. David Sims, The Atlantic, 1 Nov. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of golem

1897, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for golem

Yiddish goylem, from Hebrew gōlem shapeless mass

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About golem

Listen to Our Podcast About golem

Dictionary Entries Near golem

gold yellow



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for golem

Last Updated

16 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Golem.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/golem. Accessed 19 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on golem

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about golem


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!