bat mitzvah

or bath mitz·vah, bas mitz·vah

[baht mits-vuh, bahs; Sephardic Hebrew baht meets-vah; Ashkenazic Hebrew bahs mits-vuh]Judaism.

noun (often initial capital letters)

a solemn ceremony, chiefly among Reform and Conservative Jews, that is held in the synagogue on Friday night or Saturday morning to admit formally as an adult member of the Jewish community a girl 12 to 13 years old.
the girl participating in this ceremony.

verb (used with object)

to administer the ceremony of bat mitzvah to.

Compare bar mitzvah.

Origin of bat mitzvah

From the Hebrew word bath miṣwāh literally, daughter of the divine law
Can be confusedbar mitzvah bas mitzvah bat mitzvah Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for bas mitzvah

Bat Mitzvah


(of a Jewish girl) having attained religious majority at the age of twelve


the date of, or, in some congregations, a ceremony marking, this event
the girl herself on that day
Also called (old-fashioned): Bas Mitzvah

Word Origin for Bat Mitzvah

from Hebrew, literally: daughter of the commandment
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 bas mitzvah

Bat Mitzvah

1950, literally "daughter of command;" a Jewish girl who has reached age 12, the age of religious majority. Extended to the ceremony held on occasion of this.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

bas mitzvah in Culture

bat mitzvah

[(baht, bahs mits-vuh)]

An important ceremony and social event in Judaism marking the beginning of religious responsibility for Jewish girls; it is the less frequently observed counterpart of the bar mitzvah. Bat mitzvah is Hebrew for “daughter 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.