Jew

[ joo ]
/ dʒu /
|

noun

one of a scattered group of people that traces its descent from the Biblical Hebrews or from postexilic adherents of Judaism; Israelite.
a person whose religion is Judaism.
a subject of the ancient kingdom of Judah.

adjective

Offensive. of Jews; Jewish.

verb (used with object)

(lowercase) Offensive. to bargain sharply with; beat down in price (often followed by down).

Origin of Jew

1125–75; Middle English jewe, giu, gyu, ju < Old French juiu, juieu, gyu < Late Latin judēus, Latin jūdaeus < Greek ioudaîos < Aramaic yehūdāi < Hebrew Yəhūdhī, derivative of Yəhūdhāh Judah; replacing Old English iūdēas Jews < Late Latin jūdē(us) + Old English -as plural ending

Related formsnon-Jew, noun

Usage note

The adjectival use of Jew, as in the phrase Jew boy, is now perceived as insulting; the adjective Jewish should be used instead. The verb jew (down) is also perceived as offensive, because it perpetuates the stereotype of the shrewd Jewish moneylender or haggler. Originally, however, both the adjective and the verb were used in a neutral way by Jews and non-Jews.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for jews


British Dictionary definitions for jews

Jew

/ (dʒuː) /

noun

a member of the Semitic people who claim descent from the ancient Hebrew people of Israel, are spread throughout the world, and are linked by cultural or religious ties
a person whose religion is Judaism
See also Hebrew, Israeli

Word Origin for Jew

C12: from Old French juiu, from Latin jūdaeus, from Greek ioudaios, from Hebrew yehūdī, from yehūdāh Judah

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 jews
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for jews

Jews

The Israelites, particularly after their return from captivity in Babylon (see also Babylon) about five hundred years before the birth of Jesus; at that time, the Israelites were established as a religious group, founded on the Mosaic law, not simply a national group.

Note

When the Jewish nation was destroyed by the Romans in the year a.d. 70 and the Jews were scattered throughout the world, their religious beliefs and customs allowed them to remain one people.

Jews

Adherents of Judaism.

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.