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[joh-nuh] /ˈdʒoʊ nə/
a Minor Prophet who, for his impiety, was thrown overboard from his ship and swallowed by a large fish, remaining in its belly for three days before being cast up onto the shore unharmed.
a book of the Bible bearing his name.
any person or thing regarded as bringing bad luck.
Also, Jonas
[joh-nuh s] /ˈdʒoʊ nəs/ (Show IPA)
. a male given name: from a Hebrew word meaning “dove.”.
Related forms
Jonahesque, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Jonah
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The history of Jonah and the whale, I read at least twenty times.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • I 'guess Jonah wa'n't more tickled when he set foot on dry land.

    Meadow Grass Alice Brown
  • So they took up Jonah and cast him forth into the sea, and the sea ceased from her raging.'


    Benjamin Taylor
  • "I know how Jonah felt after the whale unloaded him," he drawled.

    Shavings Joseph C. Lincoln
  • "I suppose Jonah cal'lated he didn't need to be swallowed," he mused.

    Shavings Joseph C. Lincoln
British Dictionary definitions for Jonah


(Old Testament)
  1. a Hebrew prophet who, having been thrown overboard from a ship in which he was fleeing from God, was swallowed by a great fish and vomited onto dry land
  2. the book in which his adventures are recounted
a person believed to bring bad luck to those around him; a jinx
Derived Forms
Jonahesque, adjective
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
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Word Origin and History for Jonah

masc. proper name, biblical prophet, from Hebrew Yonah, literally "dove, pigeon."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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