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[mi-sahy-uh] /mɪˈsaɪ ə/
the promised and expected deliverer of the Jewish people.
Jesus Christ, regarded by Christians as fulfilling this promise and expectation. John 4:25, 26.
(usually lowercase) any expected deliverer.
(usually lowercase) a zealous leader of some cause or project.
(italics) an oratorio (1742) by George Frideric Handel.
Also, Douay Bible, Messias
[mi-sahy-uh s] /mɪˈsaɪ əs/ (Show IPA),
(for defs 1, 2).
Origin of Messiah
< Late Latin (Vulgate) Messīās < Greek Messī́ās < Hebrew māshīaḥ literally, anointed
Related forms
Messiahship, noun
[mes-ee-an-ik] /ˌmɛs iˈæn ɪk/ (Show IPA),
Messianically, adverb
pre-Messianic, adjective
pseudo-Messianic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for Messiah


(Judaism) the awaited redeemer of the Jews, to be sent by God to free them
Jesus Christ, when regarded in this role
an exceptional or hoped for liberator of a country or people
Derived Forms
Messiahship, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French Messie, ultimately from Hebrew māshīach anointed
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 Messiah



c.1300, Messias, from Late Latin Messias, from Greek Messias, from Aramaic meshiha and Hebrew mashiah "the anointed" (of the Lord), from mashah "anoint." This is the word rendered in Septuagint as Greek Khristos (see Christ). In Old Testament prophetic writing, it was used of an expected deliverer of the Jewish nation. The modern English form represents an attempt to make the word look more Hebrew, and dates from the Geneva Bible (1560). Transferred sense of "an expected liberator or savior of a captive people" is attested from 1660s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Messiah in Culture
Messiah [(muh-seye-uh)]

For Jews and Christians, the promised “anointed one” or Christ; the Savior. Christians believe that Jesus was the Messiah who delivered mankind from its sins. Jews believe that the Messiah has not yet come.

Messiah [(muh-seye-uh)]

In Judaism and Christianity, the promised “anointed one” or Christ; the Savior. Christians believe that Jesus was the Messiah who delivered mankind from original sin. Jews believe that the Messiah has not yet come.

Messiah [(muh-seye-uh)]

An oratorio by George Frederick Handel on the life of Jesus. Written for solo singers, chorus, and orchestra, it contains the “Hallelujah Chorus.” In the United States, it is often sung during the Christmas season.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Messiah in the Bible

(Heb. mashiah), in all the thirty-nine instances of its occurring in the Old Testament, is rendered by the LXX. "Christos." It means anointed. Thus priests (Ex. 28:41; 40:15; Num. 3:3), prophets (1 Kings 19:16), and kings (1 Sam. 9:16; 16:3; 2 Sam. 12:7) were anointed with oil, and so consecrated to their respective offices. The great Messiah is anointed "above his fellows" (Ps. 45:7); i.e., he embraces in himself all the three offices. The Greek form "Messias" is only twice used in the New Testament, in John 1:41 and 4:25 (R.V., "Messiah"), and in the Old Testament the word Messiah, as the rendering of the Hebrew, occurs only twice (Dan 9:25, 26; R.V., "the anointed one"). The first great promise (Gen. 3:15) contains in it the germ of all the prophecies recorded in the Old Testament regarding the coming of the Messiah and the great work he was to accomplish on earth. The prophecies became more definite and fuller as the ages rolled on; the light shone more and more unto the perfect day. Different periods of prophetic revelation have been pointed out, (1) the patriarchal; (2) the Mosaic; (3) the period of David; (4) the period of prophetism, i.e., of those prophets whose works form a part of the Old Testament canon. The expectations of the Jews were thus kept alive from generation to generation, till the "fulness of the times," when Messiah came, "made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law." In him all these ancient prophecies have their fulfilment. Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, the great Deliverer who was to come. (Comp. Matt. 26:54; Mark 9:12; Luke 18:31; 22:37; John 5:39; Acts 2; 16:31; 26:22, 23.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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