noun, often capitalized
hav·​da·​lah | \ ˌhäv-də-ˈlä How to pronounce havdalah (audio) , häv-ˈdȯ-lə How to pronounce havdalah (audio) \
variants: or less commonly

Definition of havdalah

: a Jewish ceremony marking the close of a Sabbath or holy day

Examples of havdalah in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Two weeks after losing my father-in-law, our friend (the wife of the lasagna-bearer) gave me the link to celebrate a havdalah at 8:15 p.m. with her wider Jewish community on Zoom. Sarah Ruhl, The Atlantic, 23 Apr. 2020 The family-friendly celebration will include a havdalah service, menorah lighting, the Hanukkah story and seasonal songs. Elizabeth Marie Himchak, Pomerado News, 14 Dec. 2017

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

First Known Use of havdalah

1733, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for havdalah

Hebrew habhdālāh separation

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Time Traveler for havdalah

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The first known use of havdalah was in 1733

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Cite this Entry

“Havdalah.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/havdalah. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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