variants: or shamash or shammas or shamas or shammes or shames or shammos or shamus \ ˈshäməs \
plural shammashim or shamashim or shammasim or shamasim or shammosim or shamosim\ shäˈmȯsə̇m , -​sēm \

Definition of shammash

1 : the sexton of a synagogue
2 : the candle or taper used to light the other candles in a Hanukkah menorah

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History and Etymology for shammash

Yiddish & Middle Hebrew; Yiddish shames, from Middle Hebrew shāmmāsh, from Aramaic shĕmmāsh to serve

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Cite this Entry

“Shammash.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Oct. 2020.

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