rab·​bi | \ ˈra-ˌbī How to pronounce rabbi (audio) \

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 Clergy and staff have seen other scorch marks from small fires set on the synagogue’s campus, the rabbi said, but believe those likely were set by people smoking drugs. oregonlive, 2 May 2022 Brooklyn crushed a glass in a napkin under the chuppah, and the couple received a blessing from their rabbi before kissing in front of their friends and family. ELLE, 10 Apr. 2022 In 2006, Cytron-Walker joined as its first full-time rabbi. Washington Post, 8 Apr. 2022 My rabbi, Joshua Skoff, said that at Shabbat services. Bert Stratton, WSJ, 13 Mar. 2022 Their rabbi, Samuel Rosenblatt, had a scholarly mien and a formal manner. Jonathan M. Pitts, baltimoresun.com, 1 Mar. 2022 Stepakoff founded Temple New Jerusalem, a Messianic synagogue in Palm Harbor, Florida, and has been its senior rabbi for the past 20 years. orlandosentinel.com, 20 Jan. 2022 Shmuel Rabinowitz, rabbi of the Western Wall, issued a statement calling on Muslim leaders to act to stop the violence. Joseph Krauss, USA TODAY, 15 Apr. 2022 Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the rabbi of the Western Wall, issued a statement calling on Muslim leaders to act to stop the violence. Fox News, 15 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Rabbi.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rabbi. Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for rabbi


rab·​bi | \ ˈra-ˌbī How to pronounce rabbi (audio) \
plural rabbis

Kids Definition of rabbi

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


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