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or Nazirite

[naz-uh-rahyt] /ˈnæz əˌraɪt/
(among the ancient Hebrews) a person who had taken certain strict religious vows, usually for a limited period.
Rare. a Nazarene.
Rare. Christ.
Obsolete. a Christian.
Origin of Nazarite
1550-60; < Late Latin Nāzar(aeus) (< Greek Nāzēraîos, equivalent to nāzēr (< Hebrew nāzīr consecrated person) + -aios suffix) + -ite1
Related forms
[naz-uh-rit-ik] /ˌnæz əˈrɪt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Nazarite
Historical Examples
  • The devotion of the Nazarite and the affection of the Man were both perfect.

  • The vows of the Nazarite were dutiful under the former dispensation.

  • Unbelief says, "There is a lion in the way;" but faith slays the lion that roars along the path of the Nazarite of God.

    The Assembly of God C. (Charles) H. (Henry) Mackintosh
  • When the vows of the Nazarite were made lawfully, their matter was not indifferent.

  • After this, the priest shaved the head of the Nazarite at the door of the tabernacle, and burnt his hair on the fire of the altar.

  • It is the head of the Nazarite that is especially consecrated, and so it was in the taboo.

    Bible Studies Joseph M. Wheeler
  • On his road thither he met with Jonadab, who had adopted the Nazarite mode of life as introduced by Elijah.

  • Matthew likewise knew that this Nazarite referred to in Judges was Samson.

    The Christ John Eleazer Remsburg
  • The Nazarite vow is an act of sacrifice in accordance with the terms of the law laid down in Num.

    Chats on Costume G. Woolliscroft Rhead
  • Verily, master, I am vexed for the Nazarite maiden, for her tale is sad.

British Dictionary definitions for Nazarite


another word for Nazarene (sense 1), Nazarene (sense 2)


a religious ascetic of ancient Israel
Word Origin
C16: from Latin Nazaraeus, from Hebrew nāzīr, from nāzar to consecrate + -ite1
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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Nazarite in the Bible

(Heb. form Nazirite), the name of such Israelites as took on them the vow prescribed in Num. 6:2-21. The word denotes generally one who is separated from others and consecrated to God. Although there is no mention of any Nazarite before Samson, yet it is evident that they existed before the time of Moses. The vow of a Nazarite involved these three things, (1) abstinence from wine and strong drink, (2) refraining from cutting the hair off the head during the whole period of the continuance of the vow, and (3) the avoidance of contact with the dead. When the period of the continuance of the vow came to an end, the Nazarite had to present himself at the door of the sanctuary with (1) a he lamb of the first year for a burnt-offering, (2) a ewe lamb of the first year for a sin-offering, and (3) a ram for a peace-offering. After these sacrifices were offered by the priest, the Nazarite cut off his hair at the door and threw it into the fire under the peace-offering. For some reason, probably in the midst of his work at Corinth, Paul took on himself the Nazarite vow. This could only be terminated by his going up to Jerusalem to offer up the hair which till then was to be left uncut. But it seems to have been allowable for persons at a distance to cut the hair, which was to be brought up to Jerusalem, where the ceremony was completed. This Paul did at Cenchrea just before setting out on his voyage into Syria (Acts 18:18). On another occasion (Acts 21:23-26), at the feast of Pentecost, Paul took on himself again the Nazarite vow. "The ceremonies involved took a longer time than Paul had at his disposal, but the law permitted a man to share the vow if he could find companions who had gone through the prescribed ceremonies, and who permitted him to join their company. This permission was commonly granted if the new comer paid all the fees required from the whole company (fee to the Levite for cutting the hair and fees for sacrifices), and finished the vow along with the others. Four Jewish Christians were performing the vow, and would admit Paul to their company, provided he paid their expenses. Paul consented, paid the charges, and when the last seven days of the vow began he went with them to live in the temple, giving the usual notice to the priests that he had joined in regular fashion, was a sharer with the four men, and that his vow would end with theirs. Nazarites retired to the temple during the last period of seven days, because they could be secure there against any accidental defilement" (Lindsay's Acts). As to the duration of a Nazarite's vow, every one was left at liberty to fix his own time. There is mention made in Scripture of only three who were Nazarites for life, Samson, Samuel, and John the Baptist (Judg. 13:4, 5; 1 Sam. 1:11; Luke 1:15). In its ordinary form, however, the Nazarite's vow lasted only thirty, and at most one hundred, days. (See RECHABITES.) This institution was a symbol of a life devoted to God and separated from all sin, a holy life.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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