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or synagog

[sin-uh-gog, -gawg] /ˈsɪn əˌgɒg, -ˌgɔg/
a Jewish house of worship, often having facilities for religious instruction.
an assembly or congregation of Jews for the purpose of religious worship.
the Jewish religion; Judaism.
Origin of synagogue
1125-75; Middle English synagoge < Late Latin synagōga < Greek synagōgḗ assembly, meeting, equivalent to syn- syn- + agōgḗ, noun use of feminine of agōgós (adj.) gathering, derivative of ágein to bring, lead; akin to Latin agere to drive
Related forms
[sin-uh-goj-i-kuh l] /ˌsɪn əˈgɒdʒ ɪ kəl/ (Show IPA),
[sin-uh-gog-uh l, -gaw-guh l] /ˈsɪn əˌgɒg əl, -ˌgɔ gəl/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for synagogue
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Damascus contains a Mohammedan mosque, called "the synagogue of Damascus," a building of unequalled magnificence.

  • The synagogue has nothing to offer to the faithful which he cannot find in his own tent.

    Zionism and Anti-Semitism Max Simon Nordau
  • As he returns home from the synagogue on the Sabbath eve, every man is accompanied by two angels, one good, the other evil.

  • My mother calls me for the third time to go with my father to the synagogue.

    Jewish Children Sholem Naumovich Rabinovich
  • The pleasure ship was a synagogue, and the pleasure trip was a funeral excursion without a corpse.

    The Innocents Abroad Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
British Dictionary definitions for synagogue


  1. a building for Jewish religious services and usually also for religious instruction
  2. (as modifier): synagogue services
a congregation of Jews who assemble for worship or religious study
the religion of Judaism as organized in such congregations
Derived Forms
synagogical (ˌsɪnəˈɡɒdʒɪkəl), synagogal (ˈsɪnəˌɡɒɡəl) adjective
Word Origin
C12: from Old French sinagogue, from Late Latin synagōga, from Greek sunagōgē a gathering, from sunagein to bring together, from syn- + agein to lead
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 synagogue

late 12c., from Old French sinagoge (11c.), from Late Latin synagoga "congregation of Jews," from Greek synagoge "place of assembly, synagogue," literally "meeting, assembly," from synagein "to gather, assemble," from syn- "together" (see syn-) + agein "bring, lead" (see act). Used by Greek translators of the Old Testament as a loan-translation of late Hebrew keneseth "assembly" (cf. beth keneseth "synagogue," literally "house of assembly.")

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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synagogue in Culture
synagogue [(sin-uh-gog)]

In Judaism, a house of worship and learning; also, the congregation that meets there.

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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synagogue in the Bible

(Gr. sunagoge, i.e., "an assembly"), found only once in the Authorized Version of Ps. 74:8, where the margin of Revised Version has "places of assembly," which is probably correct; for while the origin of synagogues is unknown, it may well be supposed that buildings or tents for the accommodation of worshippers may have existed in the land from an early time, and thus the system of synagogues would be gradually developed. Some, however, are of opinion that it was specially during the Babylonian captivity that the system of synagogue worship, if not actually introduced, was at least reorganized on a systematic plan (Ezek. 8:1; 14:1). The exiles gathered together for the reading of the law and the prophets as they had opportunity, and after their return synagogues were established all over the land (Ezra 8:15; Neh. 8:2). In after years, when the Jews were dispersed abroad, wherever they went they erected synagogues and kept up the stated services of worship (Acts 9:20; 13:5; 17:1; 17:17; 18:4). The form and internal arrangements of the synagogue would greatly depend on the wealth of the Jews who erected it, and on the place where it was built. "Yet there are certain traditional pecularities which have doubtless united together by a common resemblance the Jewish synagogues of all ages and countries. The arrangements for the women's place in a separate gallery or behind a partition of lattice-work; the desk in the centre, where the reader, like Ezra in ancient days, from his 'pulpit of wood,' may 'open the book in the sight of all of people and read in the book of the law of God distinctly, and give the sense, and cause them to understand the reading' (Neh. 8:4, 8); the carefully closed ark on the side of the building nearest to Jerusalem, for the preservation of the rolls or manuscripts of the law; the seats all round the building, whence 'the eyes of all them that are in the synagogue' may 'be fastened' on him who speaks (Luke 4:20); the 'chief seats' (Matt. 23:6) which were appropriated to the 'ruler' or 'rulers' of the synagogue, according as its organization may have been more or less complete;", these were features common to all the synagogues. Where perfected into a system, the services of the synagogue, which were at the same hours as those of the temple, consisted, (1) of prayer, which formed a kind of liturgy, there were in all eighteen prayers; (2) the reading of the Scriptures in certain definite portions; and (3) the exposition of the portions read. (See Luke 4:15, 22; Acts 13:14.) The synagogue was also sometimes used as a court of judicature, in which the rulers presided (Matt. 10:17; Mark 5:22; Luke 12:11; 21:12; Acts 13:15; 22:19); also as public schools. The establishment of synagogues wherever the Jews were found in sufficient numbers helped greatly to keep alive Israel's hope of the coming of the Messiah, and to prepare the way for the spread of the gospel in other lands. The worship of the Christian Church was afterwards modelled after that of the synagogue. Christ and his disciples frequently taught in the synagogues (Matt. 13:54; Mark 6:2; John 18:20; Acts 13:5, 15, 44; 14:1; 17:2-4, 10, 17; 18:4, 26; 19:8). To be "put out of the synagogue," a phrase used by John (9:22; 12:42; 16:2), means to be excommunicated.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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