noun, often capitalized
se·​der | \ ˈsā-dər How to pronounce seder (audio) \
plural seders also sedarim\ sə-​ˈdär-​əm How to pronounce seder (audio) , ˌse-​dä-​ˈrēm \

Definition of seder

: a Jewish home or community service including a ceremonial dinner held on the first or first and second evenings of the Passover in commemoration of the exodus from Egypt

Did you know?

Order and ritual are very important in the seder—so important that they are even reflected in its name: the English word seder is a transliteration of a Hebrew word (sēdher) that means "order." The courses in the meal, as well as blessings, prayers, stories, and songs, are recorded in the Haggadah, a book that lays out the order of the Passover feast and recounts the story of the Exodus. Each food consumed as part of the seder recalls an aspect of the Exodus. For instance, matzo (unleavened bread) represents the haste with which the Israelites fled ancient Egypt; maror (a mix of bitter herbs) recalls the bitterness of life as a slave; and a mixture of fruits and nuts called haroseth (or haroset/haroses or charoseth/charoset/charoses) symbolizes the clay or mortar the Israelites worked with as slaves.

Examples of seder in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Pomegranates are a very symbolic food in Judaism, and Sephardic Jews often incorporate the fruit into their Rosh Hashanah seder plate. Emily Burack, Town & Country, 28 July 2022 Rabbi Yael Buechler conceived of her latest product a whole year ago, after planning ways to make the Passover seder fun for her two young sons. Jackie Hajdenberg, Sun Sentinel, 14 Apr. 2022 The orange is a relatively recent addition to the seder plate. Brandon Tensley, CNN, 15 Apr. 2022 What was it made of, the rabble that, instead of the paschal seder, dragged itself to Pilate’s court? Maxim Osipov, The Atlantic, 16 May 2022 One wonders: why should verses from Deuteronomy be recited at the seder table rather than sections of the Book of Exodus in which the story unfolded? Rabbi Avi Weiss, Sun Sentinel, 18 Apr. 2022 Why is this meal different from other meals, to paraphrase the start to the four questions asked during the Passover seder, the eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the exodus of Jewish people from Egypt? Washington Post, 11 Apr. 2022 Students of Beit David Highland Lakes Shul’s preschool in Miami prepared for Passover with activities, including a model seder. Sergio Carmona, Sun Sentinel, 15 Apr. 2022 In general terms, the seder is divided into two parts. Rabbi Avi Weiss,, 11 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'seder.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of seder

1865, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for seder

Hebrew sēdher order

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Cite this Entry

“Seder.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Oct. 2022.

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