mid·​rash ˈmi-ˌdräsh How to pronounce midrash (audio)
plural midrashim mi-ˈdrä-shəm How to pronounce midrash (audio)
: a haggadic or halachic exposition of the underlying significance of a Bible text
: a collection of midrashim
capitalized : the midrashic literature written during the first Christian millennium
midrashic adjective often capitalized

Examples of midrash in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Each book uses a traditional storytelling structure — lyrics, midrash, folk tales — while pushing at the edges of what a form can contain, cramming it with modern human concerns, triumphs and tragedies. Bethanne Patrick, Los Angeles Times, 27 July 2023 The commissions will begin later this year with a beit midrash, or study period, for the writers, spearheaded by Sabrina Sojourner — herself a Jew of color who serves as a Rockville, Md.-based community chaplain promoting diversity and inclusion among Jews. Washington Post, 7 Apr. 2022 As many as 1,100 adult students would attend lectures tailored to secular Jews and aimed at democratizing the kind of Jewish learning that was typically restricted to the beit midrash, or formal house of Jewish study. Jackie Hajdenberg, Sun Sentinel, 11 Aug. 2022 Typically, midrash would start wherever there was something unusual in the text. oregonlive, 5 Sep. 2021 Scripture was a performative art, such as the intensely emotional and argumentative art of Jewish midrash. Randy Dotinga, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 Nov. 2019 Nor does the average WeWork have a beit midrash, or Jewish study hall, filled with Torah books and other religious texts. Josefin Dolsten, sun-sentinel.com, 26 June 2019 At Mt. Sinai, God’s voice, in midrash, was heard communally, but was so overwhelming that only the first letter, aleph, was sounded. Jerome Groopman, The New Yorker, 9 Jan. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'midrash.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Hebrew midhrāsh exposition, explanation

First Known Use

1613, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of midrash was in 1613

Dictionary Entries Near midrash

Cite this Entry

“Midrash.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/midrash. Accessed 25 Apr. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on midrash

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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