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[see-luh, sel-uh]
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  1. an expression occurring frequently in the Psalms, thought to be a liturgical or musical direction, probably a direction by the leader to raise the voice or perhaps an indication of a pause.

Origin of selah

First recorded in 1520–30, selah is from the Hebrew word selāh
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for selah

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The conquest of Selah secured the road for his commercial caravans.

  • It is divided into five strophes, three of which are marked by Selah.

  • But you will not be lovable then, Selah; you will only be horribly intelligent and capable.

    The Co-Citizens

    Corra Harris

  • Selah informed the Leagues of this as she made this tour from one community to another.

    The Co-Citizens

    Corra Harris

  • Selah fled from the house, climbed into the car, and commanded the chauffeur to drive on.

    The Co-Citizens

    Corra Harris

British Dictionary definitions for selah


  1. a Hebrew word of unknown meaning occurring in the Old Testament psalms, and thought to be a musical direction

Word Origin

C16: from Hebrew
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 selah

1520s, Hebrew word occurring frequently at the end of verse in Psalter. Supposed to be a liturgical direction, perhaps meaning "pause," or perhaps a musical direction to raise the voice (cf. Hebrew base s-l-l "to raise, lift").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper