se·​der ˈsā-dər How to pronounce seder (audio)
plural seders also sedarim sə-ˈdär-əm How to pronounce seder (audio)
often capitalized
: 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 the Hebrew word sēdher, meaning “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 Exodus. Each food consumed as part of the seder recalls an aspect of the Israelites’ 13th century BCE exodus from Egypt. For instance, matzo (unleavened bread) represents the haste with which the Israelites fled; maror (a mix of bitter herbs) recalls the bitterness of enslaved life; and a mixture of fruits and nuts called charoset (also rendered as charoses or haroset/haroses) symbolizes the clay or mortar the Israelites worked with during their Egyptian enslavement.

Examples of seder in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There are moments within the retelling of the tale where the readers are instructed to pause for a prayer or to eat a specific symbolic item from the seder plate. Rebecca Angel Baer, Southern Living, 4 Jan. 2024 Families can find a 15-minute seder, a step-by-step video playlist where kids can learn or refresh seder skills; the PJ Library Passover River Ridebooklet that tells the story of the eight-day holiday in 10 scenes; Passover-Themed Mad Libs; and more. Jennifer Stempel, Sun Sentinel, 30 Mar. 2023 The Talentless founder, 39, shared photos on his Instagram Story Wednesday featuring his three kids, sons Reign, 8, and Mason, 13, and daughter Penelope, 10, celebrating the holiday together and participating in a Passover seder. Georgia Slater, Peoplemag, 6 Apr. 2023 Celebrations Passover celebrations include attending religious services and gathering with friends and family for a seder, the traditional Passover meal during which the story of Exodus is recounted. Kelsey Hurwitz, Woman's Day, 5 Apr. 2023 In the Hofman house, the first seder is traditional Ashkenazi. Ethel G. Hofman, Sun Sentinel, 23 Mar. 2023 Lasagna-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti squash is another great unleavened alternative for your Passover seder. Elizabeth Berry, Woman's Day, 7 Apr. 2023 Many people have Passover seders on the first and/or second nights of Passover, so seders will occur on April 5 and 6. Kelsey Hurwitz, Woman's Day, 5 Apr. 2023 In the photo, Mason was sitting next to Penelope at the seder table. Hannah Sacks, Peoplemag, 31 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'seder.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Hebrew sēdher order

First Known Use

1865, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of seder was in 1865


Dictionary Entries Near seder

Cite this Entry

“Seder.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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