havdalah

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, "Can We Mourn Properly Over Zoom?," 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, "Options remain for local holiday entertainment," 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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about havdalah

Time Traveler for havdalah

Time Traveler

The first known use of havdalah was in 1733

See more words from the same year

Statistics for havdalah

Cite this Entry

“Havdalah.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/havdalah. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

Comments on havdalah

What made you want to look up havdalah? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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