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[hee-brey-iz-uh m, -bree-]
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  1. an expression or construction distinctive of the Hebrew language.
  2. the character, spirit, principles, or practices distinctive of the Hebrew people.

Origin of Hebraism

1560–70; < Late Greek Hebraïsmós, equivalent to Hebra- (see Hebraize) + -ismos -ism
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hebraism

Historical Examples

  • Literally, "all the daughters of song," a Hebraism for birds.

    Expositor's Bible: The Book of Ecclesiastes

    Samuel Cox

  • The idea of Hellenism is to see things as they are: the idea of Hebraism is conduct and obedience.

    Matthew Arnold

    G. W. E. Russell

  • And this discipline has been nowhere so effectively taught as in the School of Hebraism.

    Matthew Arnold

    G. W. E. Russell

  • We want Hellenism for knowing and enjoying, Hebraism for acting, loving, and hoping.

  • Where Hellenism appealed to the senses, Hebraism appealed to the spirit.

British Dictionary definitions for hebraism


  1. a linguistic usage, custom, or other feature borrowed from or particular to the Hebrew language, or to the Jewish people or their culture
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for hebraism



1560s, "phrase or construction characteristic of the Hebrew language;" see Hebraic + -ism. Meaning "a quality or characteristic of the (biblical) Hebrew people" is from 1847.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper