[ ahsh-kuh-nah-zim ]
/ ˌɑʃ kəˈnɑ zɪm /

plural noun, singular Ash·ke·naz·i [ahsh-kuh-nah-zee] /ˌɑʃ kəˈnɑ zi/.

Jews of central and eastern Europe, or their descendants, distinguished from the Sephardim chiefly by their liturgy, religious customs, and pronunciation of Hebrew.

Origin of Ashkenazim

1830–40; < post-Biblical Hebrew ashkənazzīm, plural of ashkənazzī, equivalent to ashkənaz Ashkenaz + suffix of appurtenance

Related forms

Ash·ke·naz·ic, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for ashkenazi


/ (ˌæʃkəˈnɑːzɪ) /

noun plural -zim (-zɪm)

(modifier) of or relating to the Jews of Germany and E Europe
a Jew of German or E European descent
the pronunciation of Hebrew used by these Jews
Compare Sephardi

Word Origin for Ashkenazi

C19: Late Hebrew, from Hebrew Ashkenaz, the son of Gomer (Genesis 10:3; I Chronicles 1:6), a descendant of Noah through Japheth, and hence taken to be identified with the ancient Ascanians of Phrygia and, in the medieval period, the Germans
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