yetzer hara

noun
yetzer ha·​ra | \ -ˈhärə \

Definition of yetzer hara

: the inclination or impulse to evil considered as an essential part of human nature in Jewish traditional belief

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 yetzer hara

Late Hebrew yēṣer hārʽā evil inclination

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about yetzer hara

Statistics for yetzer hara

Cite this Entry

“Yetzer hara.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yetzer%20hara. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

Comments on yetzer hara

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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