a Minor Prophet who, for his impiety, was thrown overboard from his ship and swallowed by a large fish, remaining in its belly for three days before being cast up onto the shore unharmed.
a book of the Bible bearing his name.
any person or thing regarded as bringing bad luck.
Also Jo·nas [joh-nuh s] /ˈdʒoʊ nəs/. a male given name: from a Hebrew word meaning “dove.”

Related formsJo·nah·esque, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for jonah

Contemporary Examples of jonah

Historical Examples of jonah

  • The history of Jonah and the whale, I read at least twenty times.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • I 'guess Jonah wa'n't more tickled when he set foot on dry land.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • So they took up Jonah and cast him forth into the sea, and the sea ceased from her raging.'


    Benjamin Taylor

  • "I suppose Jonah cal'lated he didn't need to be swallowed," he mused.


    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • "I know how Jonah felt after the whale unloaded him," he drawled.


    Joseph C. Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for jonah


Jonas (ˈdʒəʊnəs)


Old Testament
  1. a Hebrew prophet who, having been thrown overboard from a ship in which he was fleeing from God, was swallowed by a great fish and vomited onto dry land
  2. the book in which his adventures are recounted
a person believed to bring bad luck to those around him; a jinx
Derived FormsJonahesque, adjective
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 jonah


masc. proper name, biblical prophet, from Hebrew Yonah, literally "dove, pigeon."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper