[beth-uh l]


a sacred area or sanctuary. Gen. 28:19.
a church or hostel for sailors.

Origin of bethel

First recorded in 1610–20, bethel is from the Hebrew word bēth 'ēl house of God


[beth-uh l; for 1 also beth-el, beth-el]


a village in W Jordan, near Jerusalem; occupied by Israel since 1967: site of Jacob's dream. Gen. 28:19.
a town in SW Connecticut. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for bethel



an ancient town in the West Bank, near Jerusalem: in the Old Testament, the place where the dream of Jacob occurred (Genesis 28:19)
a chapel of any of certain Nonconformist Christian sects
a seamen's chapel

Word Origin for Bethel

C17: from Hebrew bēth 'Ēl house of God
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 bethel

1610s, "a place where God is worshipped," from Hebrew beth El "house of God," from beth, construct state of bayit "house." Popular as a name for religious meeting houses among some Protestant denominations. Beth also was the name of the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet, so called for its shape, and was borrowed into Greek as beta.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper