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benjamin

[ben-juh-muh n]
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noun
  1. benzoin1(def 2).
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Origin of benjamin

1570–80; alteration (by association with the proper name) of benjoin, early form of benzoin1

Benjamin

[ben-juh-muh n]
noun
  1. the youngest son of Jacob and Rachel, and the brother of Joseph. Gen. 35:18.
  2. one of the 12 tribes of ancient Israel traditionally descended from him.
  3. Asher,1773–1845, U.S. architect and writer.
  4. Judah Philip,1811–84, Confederate statesman.
  5. a male given name: from a Hebrew word meaning “son of the right.”
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for benjamin

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • When Benjamin was quite a large lad he was sent to school at Philadelphia.

    Biographical Stories

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • Now, what advantage could the world expect from Benjamin's pictures?

    Biographical Stories

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • So here we finish our story of the childhood of Benjamin Franklin.

    Biographical Stories

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • "I will never forget it again," said Benjamin, bowing his head.

    Biographical Stories

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • His son Benjamin succeeded to his vast estate, but died of small-pox in 1753.

    Chronicles of Border Warfare

    Alexander Scott Withers


British Dictionary definitions for benjamin

benjamin

noun
  1. another name for benzoin (def. 1)
  2. benjamin bush another name for spicebush
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Word Origin

C16: variant of benzoin; influenced in form by the name Benjamin

Benjamin1

noun
  1. Old Testament
    1. the youngest and best-loved son of Jacob and Rachel (Genesis 35:16–18; 42:4)
    2. the tribe descended from this patriarch
    3. the territory of this tribe, northwest of the Dead Sea
  2. archaic a youngest and favourite son
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Benjamin2

noun
  1. Arthur . 1893–1960, Australian composer. In addition to Jamaican Rumba (1938), he wrote five operas and a harmonica concerto (1953)
  2. (German ˈbɛnɪamin) Walter (ˈvaltər). 1892–1940, German critic and cultural theorist
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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 benjamin

Benjamin

masc. proper name, in Old Testament, Jacob's youngest son (Gen. xxxv:18), from Hebrew Binyamin, literally "son of the south," though interpreted in Genesis as "son of the right hand," from ben "son of" + yamin "right hand," also "south" (in an East-oriented culture). Cf. Arabic cognate yaman "right hand, right side, south;" yamana "he was happy," literally "he turned to the right." The right was regarded as auspicious (see left and dexterity). Also see Yemen, southpaw, and cf. deasil "rightwise, turned toward the right," from Gaelic deiseil "toward the south; toward the right," from deas "right, right-hand; south." Also cf. Sanskrit dakshina "right; south." Slang meaning "money" (by 1999) is from portrait of Benjamin Franklin on U.S. $100 bill.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper