sho·​far | \ ˈshō-ˌfär How to pronounce shofar (audio) , -fər \
plural shofroth\ shō-​ˈfrōt How to pronounce shofroth (audio) , -​ˈfrōth , -​ˈfrōs \

Definition of shofar

: the horn of a ruminant animal and usually a ram blown as a trumpet by the ancient Hebrews in battle and during religious observances and used in modern Judaism especially during Rosh Hashanah and at the end of Yom Kippur

Illustration of shofar

Illustration of shofar

Examples of shofar in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Just as the Supreme Court has nine members, one of the shofar blasts, teruah, has nine short notes. Philissa Cramer,, "How RBG’s death changed Rosh Hashanah services," 22 Sep. 2020 His synagogue will be hosting several services throughout the weekend, ending with a shofar service Sunday evening. Brieanna J. Frank, The Arizona Republic, "Jewish community sees Rosh Hashana, which starts Friday, as new start after difficult year," 18 Sep. 2020 The holiday itself is celebrated with even more shofar blasts, usually a hundred during the services on both days. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "Why Rosh Hashanah kicks off the Jewish New Year in the fall—not January," 18 Sep. 2020 The sounding of the shofar will occur during the celebration. Evan Casey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The new Chabad of Waukesha-Brookfield facility is hosting Rosh Hashanah service to mark the Jewish new year," 17 Sep. 2020 The blowing of a ram’s horn, or shofar, was done outdoors at the gardens to signal the new year. al, "High Holy Days end with Yom Kippur, including service in Birmingham Botanical Gardens," 28 Sep. 2020 As the last prayers of Yom Kippur fade, the shofar, or ram’s horn, is sounded, an indication that God’s forgiveness has been granted and that the 25-hour fast is over. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "Why Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the Jewish year," 25 Sep. 2020 Worshipers gathered at the walls of the sanctuaries to listen to the services and the blowing of the ram’s horn, or shofar, a ritual during the Jewish New Year. Rory Jones, WSJ, "Israel Enforces New Covid-19 Lockdown Amid Rosh Hashana Celebrations," 20 Sep. 2020 Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, a synagogue in Manhattan that grew out of the L.G.B.T. community, live-streams through the blowing of the shofar, the ram’s horn trumpet, in the evening. Adriana Balsamo, New York Times, "Fill Up on Tea or a New Film by Steve McQueen," 26 Sep. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of shofar

1833, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for shofar

Hebrew shōphār

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about shofar

Time Traveler for shofar

Time Traveler

The first known use of shofar was in 1833

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about shofar

Statistics for shofar

Last Updated

26 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Shofar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on shofar Encyclopedia article about shofar

Comments on shofar

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Namesakes Word Quiz

  • a citrus fruit possibly named after a person
  • Which of the following is a fruit named after a Moroccan seaport?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!