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ruth

[rooth]
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noun
  1. pity or compassion.
  2. sorrow or grief.
  3. self-reproach; contrition; remorse.
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Origin of ruth

First recorded in 1125–75, ruth is from the Middle English word ruthe, reuthe. See rue1, -th1

Synonyms

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1. mercy, sympathy.

Antonyms

1. cruelty.

Ruth1

[rooth]
noun
  1. a Moabite woman who married Boaz and became an ancestor of David: the daughter-in-law of Naomi.
  2. a book of the Bible bearing her name.
  3. a female given name.
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Ruth2

[rooth]
noun
  1. George HermanBabe, 1895–1948, U.S. baseball player.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for ruth

ruth

noun archaic
  1. pity; compassion
  2. repentance; remorse
  3. grief or distress
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Word Origin

C12: from rewen to rue 1

Ruth

noun
  1. Old Testament
    1. a Moabite woman, who left her own people to remain with her mother-in-law Naomi, and became the wife of Boaz; an ancestress of David
    2. the book in which these events are recounted
  2. George Herman, nicknamed Babe . 1895–1948, US professional baseball player from 1914 to 1935
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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 ruth

Ruth

fem. proper name, biblical ancestor of David, from Hebrew Ruth, probably a contraction of reuth "companion, friend, fellow woman."

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n.

"sorrow for the misery of another; repentance, regret," c.1200, ruthe, from Old Norse hryggð "ruth, sorrow," from hryggr "sorrowful, grieved" (see rue (v.)) + Proto-Germanic abstract noun suffix *-itho (see -th (2)). Or else formed in English from reuwen "to rue" on the model of true/truth, etc. The Old English word was rue (n.2).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ruth in Culture

Ruth

The great-grandmother of King David, known for her kindness and faithfulness. Not an Israelite herself, she married an Israelite who had come to her country with his family. Ruth's husband died, and her mother-in-law, Naomi, set out to return to the country of the Israelites. Ruth insisted on accompanying Naomi, saying, “ Whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge.” In the country of the Israelites, Ruth married Boaz, a rich relative of her dead husband; Boaz had been attracted to Ruth by her generosity. Her story is told in the Book of Ruth in the Old Testament.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.