me·​no·​rah | \ mə-ˈnȯr-ə How to pronounce menorah (audio) \

Definition of menorah

: a candelabra with seven or nine lights that is used in Jewish worship

Illustration of menorah

Illustration of menorah

The Menorah and Hanukkah

In English, menorah was originally the name for the seven-branched candelabra used in Jewish worship. The nine-branched Hanukkah candelabra is called hanukkiah in Hebrew, but English speakers came to use menorah for this too. The Hanukkah menorah recalls expulsion by Judah Maccabee of invading forces from the Temple of Jerusalem. Maccabee and his followers sought oil for the temple's menorah so that the sanctuary could be rededicated, but they found only enough oil for a single day. Miraculously, that tiny amount of oil burned for eight days, until a new supply could be obtained. The Hanukkah menorah includes a candle for each day the oil burned, plus the shammes, a "servant candle" that is used to light the others.

Examples of menorah in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Watch it even if there’s not a menorah or Christmas tree in sight. Angela Watercutter, Wired, 17 Dec. 2021 This year, Holiday Happenings continued into Sunday with the lighting of the Hanukkah menorah and a gelt drop on the Village Green. Gina Grillo,, 7 Dec. 2021 With some pop-up tents in place to provide relief from the weather, the festivities included the lighting of a menorah, eating traditional Hanukkah food and a village fire truck dropping off gelt and dreidels. Daniel I. Dorfman,, 7 Dec. 2021 The music video opened up with a view of a menorah before panning to Kurstin who is asleep on a couch and Grohl standing beside him in a floral dress. Daniela Avila,, 2 Dec. 2021 Chabad La Costa hosts a lighting of the menorah from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday Nov. 30 with live music, children’s games and free refreshments at The Forum Carlsbad, 1923 Calle Barcelona, in the courtyard between Chico’s and White House Black Market. Linda Mcintosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Nov. 2021 The eight candles on the menorah represent each of the eight nights. Emma Stein, Detroit Free Press, 29 Nov. 2021 Just in time for this year’s lighting of the menorah, the pair teamed up for a brand new spin on Adam Sandler’s famous Hanukkah song. Ethan Shanfeld, Variety, 28 Nov. 2021 The lighting of the first candle on the menorah was Sunday night, and the nightly ritual continues for the next week. al, 28 Nov. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'menorah.' 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 menorah

1886, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for menorah

Hebrew mĕnōrāh candlestick

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Time Traveler

The first known use of menorah was in 1886

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Last Updated

16 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Menorah.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for menorah



English Language Learners Definition of menorah

: an object that holds seven or nine candles and that is used in Jewish worship


me·​no·​rah | \ mə-ˈnōr-ə How to pronounce menorah (audio) \

Kids Definition of menorah

: a holder for candles used in Jewish worship

More from Merriam-Webster on menorah

Nglish: Translation of menorah for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about menorah


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