rab·​bi ˈra-ˌbī How to pronounce rabbi (audio)
: master, teacher
used by Jews as a term of address
: a Jew qualified to expound and apply the halacha and other Jewish law
: 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 Between the counterprotest and the attack two days later, the rabbi said, his group received a flood of reports — spread on social media and shared in WhatsApp group chats — of students being denied entry to classrooms and some people being threatened with tasers and other weapons. Matthew Ormseth, Los Angeles Times, 10 May 2024 Relatives, acolytes, the local rabbi and a couple of neighbors — and, briefly, a bedraggled passing stranger who just might be you-know-who — mingle in the scruffy backyard of a nondescript house. Christopher Smith, Orange County Register, 30 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for rabbi 

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near rabbi

Cite this Entry

“Rabbi.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rabbi. Accessed 25 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


rab·​bi ˈrab-ˌī How to pronounce rabbi (audio)
: master entry 1 sense 1a, teacher
used as a term of address for Jewish religious leaders
: a professionally trained leader of a Jewish congregation
or rabbinical

Old English rabbi "term of address used for Jewish religious leaders," from Latin rabbi (same meaning), from Greek rhabbi (same meaning), from Hebrew rabbī "my master," from rabh "master" and the suffix "my"

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