noun, often capitalized
variants: or less commonly jahrzeit \ ˈyärˌtsīt , ˈyȯrˌ-​ \
plural -s

Definition of yahrzeit

: the anniversary of the death of a parent or near relative observed annually among Jews by the recital of the Kaddish and the lighting of a memorial candle or lamp

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

History and Etymology for yahrzeit

Yiddish yartsayt, yortsayt, from Middle High German jārzīt anniversary, literally, year's time, from jār year (from Old High German) + zīt time, from Old High German

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about yahrzeit

Statistics for yahrzeit

Cite this Entry

“Yahrzeit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yahrzeit. Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Comments on yahrzeit

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


Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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