Definition of menorah
: a candelabra with seven or nine lights that is used in Jewish worship
Did You Know?
English speakers originally used the Hebrew borrowing menorah for the seven-branched candelabra used in Jewish worship since ancient times. The nine-branched Hanukkah candelabra is called hanukkiah in Hebrew, but English speakers have come to use menorah for this candelabra too. The Hanukkah menorah recalls the expulsion by Judas Maccabaeus of invading forces from the Temple of Jerusalem. Maccabaeus 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.
Origin and Etymology of menorah
Hebrew mĕnōrāh candlestick
First Known Use: 1886
MENORAH Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of menorah for English Language Learners
: an object that holds seven or nine candles and that is used in Jewish worship
MENORAH Defined for Kids
Definition of menorah for Students
: a holder for candles used in Jewish worship
Seen and Heard
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