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[Ashkenazic Hebrew kah-dish; Sephardic Hebrew kah-deesh] /Ashkenazic Hebrew ˈkɑ dɪʃ; Sephardic Hebrew kɑˈdiʃ/
noun, plural Kaddishim
[Ashkenazic Hebrew kah-dish-im; Sephardic Hebrew kah-dee-sheem] /Ashkenazic Hebrew kɑˈdɪʃ ɪm; Sephardic Hebrew kɑ diˈʃim/ (Show IPA).
(italics) a liturgical prayer, consisting of three or six verses, recited at specified points during each of the three daily services and on certain other occasions.
(italics). Also called Mourner's Kaddish. the five-verse form of this prayer that is recited at specified points during each of the three daily services by one observing the mourning period of 11 months, beginning on the day of burial, for a deceased parent, sibling, child, or spouse, and by one observing the anniversary of such a death.
Kaddishim, persons who recite this prayer.
Origin of Kaddish
First recorded in 1605-15, Kaddish is from the Aramaic word qaddīsh holy (one) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Kaddish
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There was not even one of her kin to say the first Kaddish over her resting-place.

    Yiddish Tales Various
  • I spoke the only Kaddish for her soul, but we, after all, were complete strangers to her!

    Yiddish Tales Various
  • Selig made no reply, he only gazed at his Kaddish with a beaming face.

    Yiddish Tales Various
  • Only no one may say Kaddish for me, no one may pray for the repose of my soul.

    Ghetto Tragedies Israel Zangwill
  • When they leave, the dying man teaches his son how to say "Kaddish" for his soul when he is dead.

    The Spirit of the Ghetto Hutchins Hapgood
  • In the synagogues the Kaddish (prayer for the dead) was recited as for a beloved parent.

    Rabbi and Priest

    Milton Goldsmith
  • They came to that gem of humility, the mourners' prayer; the ancient and ever-solemn Kaddish prayer.

    Fanny Herself Edna Ferber
British Dictionary definitions for Kaddish


noun (Judaism) (pl) Kaddishim (kæˈdɪʃɪm)
an ancient Jewish liturgical prayer largely written in Aramaic and used in various forms to separate sections of the liturgy. Mourners have the right to recite some of these in public prayer during the year after, and on the anniversary of, a death
say Kaddish, to be a mourner
Word Origin
C17: from Aramaic qaddīsh holy
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 Kaddish



"doxology of the Jewish ritual," 1610s, from Aramaic qaddish "holy, holy one," from stem of q'dhash "was holy," ithqaddash "was sanctified," related to Hebrew qadhash "was holy," qadhosh "holy." According to Klein, the name probably is from the second word of the text veyithqaddash "and sanctified be."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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