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

They were joined by Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, as well as Myers, the Tree of Life rabbi, and Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer. Allen G. Breed, The Seattle Times, "Mourning and protests as Pittsburgh begins victims’ burials," 31 Oct. 2018 Abraham Lincoln Krohn was given the name of a president and the blood of a rabbi. Jessica Boehm, azcentral, "Effort to save Phoenix's first Orthodox Jewish synagogue reveals forgotten history," 23 Mar. 2018 Tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews are attending the funeral of the influential rabbi who died on Saturday in Jerusalem. Washington Post, "Tens of thousands at Jerusalem funeral of influential rabbi," 25 Feb. 2018 Hell, the rabbi is even coming over for Yom Kippur—a coup that Midge mentions to anyone who will listen. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," 6 Dec. 2018 But this year, many rabbis say, Hanukkah’s original message — a celebration of Jewish resilience and Jewish identity in a troubled time — is all the more important. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "Why Hanukkah’s message of Jewish resilience matters so much after Pittsburgh," 29 Nov. 2018 An evangelical minister, a Catholic priest and an Orthodox rabbi get arrested in Manhattan. Jason Willick, WSJ, "The Man Who Discovered ‘Culture Wars’," 25 May 2018 In Disobedience, Rachel Weisz plays the secular daughter of an Orthodox rabbi, returning for his memorial service after a prolonged estrangement that has bordered on exile. Gary Thompson, Philly.com, "'Disobedience': A lesbian affair in an ultra Orthodox community | Movie review," 10 May 2018 Rachel Weisz plays a photographer who returns home to London when her father, an Orthodox rabbi, dies. Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Melissa McCarthy goes back to school, Gabrielle Union gets maternal and other new movies," 10 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

1 Jan 2019

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on rabbi

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rabbi

Spanish Central: Translation of rabbi

Nglish: Translation of rabbi for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rabbi for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rabbi

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