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bar mitzvah

or bar miz·vah

[ bahr mits-vuh or, Ashkenazic Hebrew bahr; Sephardic Hebrew bahrmeets-vah ]
/ bɑr ˈmɪts və or, Ashkenazic Hebrew bɑr; Sephardic Hebrew ˌbɑr mitsˈvɑ /
Judaism.
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noun (often initial capital letters)
a solemn ceremony held in the synagogue, usually on Saturday morning, to admit as an adult member of the Jewish community a Jewish boy 13 years old who has successfully completed a prescribed course of study in Judaism.
the boy participating in this ceremony.
verb (used with object)
to administer the ceremony of bar mitzvah to: Our son was bar mitzvahed at the family synagogue.

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Compare bat mitzvah.

Origin of bar mitzvah

1860–65; <Biblical Aramaic bar son + Hebrew miṣwāh divine law, commandment

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH bar mitzvah

bar mitzvah , bas mitzvah, bat mitzvah

Words nearby bar mitzvah

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use bar mitzvah in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for bar mitzvah

Bar Mitzvah
/ (bɑː ˈmɪtsvə) sometimes not capitals Judaism /

adjective
(of a Jewish boy) having assumed full religious obligations, being at least thirteen years of age
noun
the occasion, ceremony, or celebration of that event
the boy himself on that day

Word Origin for Bar Mitzvah

Hebrew: son of the law
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

Cultural definitions for bar mitzvah

bar mitzvah
[ (bahr mits-vuh) ]

An important ceremony and social event in Judaism marking the beginning of religious responsibility for Jewish boys of thirteen. Bar mitzvah is Hebrew for “son of the commandment.”

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.
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