mitz·​vah | \ ˈmits-və How to pronounce mitzvah (audio) \
plural mitzvoth\ ˈmits-​ˌvōt How to pronounce mitzvoth (audio) , -​ˌvōth , -​ˌvōs \ or mitzvahs

Definition of mitzvah

1 : a commandment of the Jewish law
2 : a meritorious or charitable act

Examples of mitzvah in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

As the JCS Kosher Food Bank is able to buy food for its families with the project's proceeds, Schwartzbaum noted that the students also learned about the mitzvah of helping families in their community. Sergio Carmona, Jewish Journal, "Hebrew Academy students learn math skills through restaurant project," 14 June 2018 The community recently performed a mitzvah as 520 local volunteers of different ages delivered Passover food baskets to more than 600 homebound seniors throughout Miami-Dade County. Sergio Carmona, Jewish Journal, "Volunteers make special deliveries to Miami-Dade seniors during Passover food distribution," 30 Mar. 2018 And to Kevin, for a gift even greater than the mitzvah of matchmaking. Sari Botton, Longreads, "Inadvertent Matchmaker Seeks a Love of Her Own," 15 Feb. 2018 For Wolf, this mitzvah was personal for him because Zarchi is his brother-in-law. Sergio Carmona, Jewish Journal, "South Florida Jewish organizations, synagogues partner to aid Puerto Rico," 20 Oct. 2017 Mitzvah clowns have a tradition of getting dressed up wildly and bringing happiness to senior homes and children's hospitals to fulfill the Jewish mitzvah (commandment) of bikur cholim (visiting the sick). Randall P. Lieberman, Jewish Journal, "Group follows Jewish tradition of clowning," 11 Aug. 2017 Support poured in from several countries, and the Sacramento neighborhood bakery known for its wedding, graduation and bar mitzvah cakes briefly became a touchstone in the transgender-rights movement. Carla Meyer, sacbee, "Beloved Sacramento bakery turns 30, looks back on ‘Ken doll cakes,’ traffic-jam treats," 4 Aug. 2017 From Israel, a comedy about a bar mitzvah gone horribly wrong. Chris Hewitt, Twin Cities, "Micro reviews and previews of movies for week of June 11," 11 June 2017 Aside from some comic pratfalls, all is well until the second-floor balcony — where the women are segregated during services — collapses during a bar mitzvah. David Lewis,, "‘Women’s Balcony’ doesn’t collapse under its comic weight," 19 June 2017

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

1723, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for mitzvah

Hebrew miṣwāh

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The first known use of mitzvah was in 1723

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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