[saj-uh-see, sad-yuh-]
noun Judaism.
  1. a member of a Palestinian sect, consisting mainly of priests and aristocrats, that flourished from the 1st century b.c. to the 1st century a.d. and differed from the Pharisees chiefly in its literal interpretation of the Bible, rejection of oral laws and traditions, and denial of an afterlife and the coming of the Messiah.

Origin of Sadducee

before 1000; Middle English sadducees (plural), Old English saddūcēas < Late Latin saddūcaeī < Greek saddoukaîoi < Hebrew ṣədhūqī adherent of Zadok
Related formsSad·du·ce·an, adjectiveSad·du·cee·ism, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sadducee

Historical Examples of sadducee

  • He had it republished, declaring that "he must be an obstinate Sadducee who doubted it."

  • I know but few less credulous than the relator, but he is no Sadducee.

    Welsh Folk-Lore

    Elias Owen

  • How was it possible for a sadducee, who believed in no resurrection, to see a miracle?

    Rejected of Men

    Howard Pyle

  • The explanation lies, I think, in the fact that Caiaphas was a Sadducee.

    The Gospel of St. John

    Frederick Denison Maurice

  • I will hope, though something of a Sadducee, that there is an angel in their hearts.

British Dictionary definitions for sadducee


  1. Judaism a member of an ancient Jewish sect that was opposed to the Pharisees, denying the resurrection of the dead, the existence of angels, and the validity of oral tradition
Derived FormsSadducean, adjectiveSadduceeism, noun

Word Origin for Sadducee

Old English saddūcēas, via Latin and Greek from Late Hebrew sāddūqi, probably from Sadoq Zadok, high priest and supposed founder of the sect
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 sadducee



Old English, from Late Latin Sadducaei (plural), from Greek Zaddoukaios, an inexact transliteration of Hebrew tzedoqi, from personal name Tzadhoq "Zadok" (2 Sam. viii:17), the high priest from whom the priesthood of the captivity claimed descent. According to Josephus, the sect denied the resurrection of the dead and the existence of angels and spirits; but later historians regard them as more the political party of the priestly class than a sect per se. Related: Sadducean.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper