rab·bi | \ˈra-ˌbī \

Definition of rabbi 

1 : master, teacher used by Jews as a term of address

2 : a Jew qualified to expound and apply the halacha and other Jewish law

3 : a Jew trained and ordained for professional religious leadership specifically : the official leader of a Jewish congregation

Examples of rabbi in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The Rosh Hashanah service featured two rabbis and kosher wine and was held at a hotel overlooking the city, Mendelsohn said. Kevin Riordan, Philly.com, "Ice cream cones and bayonets in Beirut: These vets share a different sort of war story," 23 June 2018 Several other Democrats, including Shaul Praver, a rabbi who lives in Fairfield, which is outside of the district, are also making a run. Daniela Altimari, courant.com, "A Return To The 'Fightin' 5th'? Democrats To Pick A Candidate For Esty's Congressional Seat," 14 May 2018 This was Barr’s second appearance on the rabbi’s podcast. Dana Schwartz, EW.com, "Roseanne Barr says she didn't want any money for Roseanne spin-off," 30 June 2018 The rabbi is the keeper of traditional Jewish law, customs and wisdom, and the cantor is the keeper of traditional music and prayer. Karen Ann Cullotta, chicagotribune.com, "Shout Out: Gil Ezring, the newest cantor at Congregation Beth Judea in Long Grove," 27 June 2018 Some were rabbis and imams, and others included women in headscarves and Jewish community members from Berlin and beyond who shared the bikes on a tour through the city. BostonGlobe.com, "Jews, Muslims in Berlin team up on bike rides against hatred," 24 June 2018 Garcetti studies Talmud with his rabbi once a month. Chanan Tigay, GQ, "Eric Garcetti Is the Anti-Trump, Pro–Star Wars Man We Need," 12 June 2018 These events include a rabbi from one of the seven partner synagogues reading PJ Library stories as well as ice cream and arts and crafts. Sergio Carmona, Jewish Journal, "South Florida PJ Libraries plan events for Jewish families," 6 June 2018 By then, Shapiro had just become the rabbi at B’nai Jehoshua where members were moving to the suburbs. Steve Sadin, chicagotribune.com, "BJBE Congregation in Deerfield prepares to mark 125 years," 7 May 2018

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for rabbi

Middle English, from Old English, from Late Latin, from Greek rhabbi, from Hebrew rabbī my master, from rabh master + my

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Statistics for rabbi

Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for rabbi

The first known use of rabbi was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for rabbi



English Language Learners Definition of rabbi

: a person who is trained to make decisions about what is lawful in Judaism, to perform Jewish ceremonies, or to lead a Jewish congregation


rab·bi | \ˈra-ˌbī \
plural rabbis

Kids Definition of rabbi

: a person educated in Jewish law and able to lead a Jewish congregation

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Comments on rabbi

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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