[ rab-ahy ]
/ ˈræb aɪ /
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noun, plural rab·bis.

the chief religious official of a synagogue, trained usually in a theological seminary and duly ordained, who delivers the sermon at a religious service and performs ritualistic, pastoral, educational, and other functions in and related to his or her capacity as a spiritual leader of Judaism and the Jewish community.Compare cantor (def. 2).
a title of respect for a Jewish scholar or teacher.
a Jewish scholar qualified to rule on questions of Jewish law.
any of the Jewish scholars of the 1st to 6th centuries a.d. who contributed to the writing, editing, or compiling of the Talmud.
Slang. a personal patron or adviser, as in business.



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Origin of rabbi

1250–1300; Middle English rabi (<Old French rab(b)i) <Late Latin rabbī<Greek rhabbí<Hebrew rabbī my master (rabh master + my)
clergy, cleric, imam, minister, pastor, priest, rabbi

Definition for rabbi (2 of 2)

[ rab-ee ]
/ ˈræb i /

noun Ecclesiastical.

Origin of rabbi

By alteration
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for rabbi

/ (ˈræbaɪ) /

noun plural -bis

(in Orthodox Judaism) a man qualified in accordance with traditional religious law to expound, teach, and rule in accordance with this law
the religious leader of a congregation; the minister of a synagogue
the Rabbis the early Jewish scholars whose teachings are recorded in the Talmud
See also Rav
Hebrew, from rabh master + my
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

Cultural definitions for rabbi


In Judaism, a teacher and leader of worship, usually associated with a synagogue.

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.
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