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 The hairdresser and the rabbi stopped coming to the building. John Leland, New York Times, "How the Oldest Old Can Endure Even This," 1 Jan. 2021 In July the rabbi pleaded guilty to tax fraud and wire fraud charges that included scams involving tax, real estate, insurance and grant frauds. Greg Moran, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Qualcomm manager admits role in rabbi fraud case," 29 Dec. 2020 Remember what the rabbi said in his parable of the Pharisee and the Publican. John Kass, chicagotribune.com, "Column: What are you cooking for Christmas dinner?," 21 Dec. 2020 The rabbi didn’t understand why Faigy insisted on driving. Larissa Macfarquhar, The New Yorker, "When One Parent Leaves a Hasidic Community, What Happens to the Kids?," 30 Nov. 2020 The woman, described as about 50 years old and wearing a gray coat, suddenly approached the rabbi and pulled a knife from her handbag. Washington Post, "World Digest: Nov. 27, 2020," 27 Nov. 2020 Several wooden circles, each one larger than the previous, surround the rabbi’s pulpit. Cnaan Liphshiz, sun-sentinel.com, "Outside of Israel, Monaco has highest ratio of world’s Jews," 6 Oct. 2020 The conversation returns to the subject of Hanukkah and my mind drifts to what the rabbi had said about the challenge during each of the nights to rededicate themselves. Sandi Dolbee Writer, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Letting the lights of Hanukkah illuminate," 6 Dec. 2020 Warnock has a bond with a prominent Atlanta rabbi whose predecessor at the synagogue was close with King. Elana Schor And Ben Nadler, Star Tribune, "Faith takes the forefront as Georgia Senate runoffs heat up," 29 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for rabbi

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for rabbi

Last Updated

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rabbi.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rabbi. Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for rabbi


How to pronounce rabbi (audio)

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 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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