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 synagogue never had a full-time rabbi, instead relying on lay leaders and visiting rabbis. Marcy Oster, sun-sentinel.com, "When a Texas synagogue burned to the ground, there were no Jews left to mourn it," 27 Nov. 2019 The students and rabbis, including Rabbi Charles Rubovits of the Joliet Jewish Congregation, also spoke about the themes in the musical that appeal to non-Jews, such as racial and ethnic distinctiveness, immigrant experiences and family dynamics. Kimberly Fornek, chicagotribune.com, "Hinsdale South prepares ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ with input from rabbis," 16 Oct. 2019 Those are characteristics to ask a priest or rabbi, not the administrator of a fund. Washington Post, "Payouts for Vegas victims a ‘cold, mathematical calculation’," 4 Oct. 2019 The congregation's rabbi, Yisroel Goldstein, 57, lost a finger in the shooting. Fox News, "Judge orders suspected Poway synagogue shooter to stand trial," 20 Sep. 2019 Hearing a sermon delivered by a rabbi or preacher is much different than simply reading it. oregonlive, "Judges must read jury instructions aloud, not rely on written directions, appeals panel finds in Oregon case," 24 Sep. 2019 That same night, in Needham, another rabbi’s Chabad house was set on fire. Deanna Pan, BostonGlobe.com, "‘I can’t be naive anymore’: Targeted by arson fires, Mass. rabbis face anti-Semitism at home," 24 June 2019 The chief rabbi of Ukraine and other religious leaders helped inaugurate a monument to members of an ultranationalist movement whose followers collaborated with the Nazis. Sam Sokol, sun-sentinel.com, "Rabbi helps dedicate a memorial to Ukrainian group that collaborated with the Nazis," 27 Aug. 2019 The problem started when Mr. Karelefsky began having marital issues and accused the rabbi of encouraging his wife to leave him, Rabbi Max said. New York Times, "Man With ‘Kill Rabbi Max’ Tattoo on Arm Is Arrested in Arson," 16 June 2019

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

4 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Rabbi.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rabbi. Accessed 13 December 2019.

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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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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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easily led, controlled, or managed

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