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

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 In 2016, Yaakov Litzman, an ultra-Orthodox rabbi then serving as the nation’s minister of health, allowed the dispensing of cannabis, similar to what’s done with all other medications. Debra Kamin, Newsweek, "Is Marijuana the World’s Most Effective Treatment for Autism?," 15 Feb. 2018 This week marks the 30th anniversary of my ordination as a rabbi. Rabbi Dan Fink, idahostatesman, "As the world changes for better and for worse, its direction is firmly in our hands," 7 June 2018 The Rosh Hashanah service featured two rabbis and kosher wine and was held at a hotel overlooking the city, Mendelsohn said. Kevin Riordan, Philly.com, "Ice cream cones and bayonets in Beirut: These vets share a different sort of war story," 23 June 2018 Several other Democrats, including Shaul Praver, a rabbi who lives in Fairfield, which is outside of the district, are also making a run. Daniela Altimari, courant.com, "A Return To The 'Fightin' 5th'? Democrats To Pick A Candidate For Esty's Congressional Seat," 14 May 2018 This was Barr’s second appearance on the rabbi’s podcast. Dana Schwartz, EW.com, "Roseanne Barr says she didn't want any money for Roseanne spin-off," 30 June 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

6 Nov 2018

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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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Comments on rabbi

What made you want to look up rabbi? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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