[ see-luh, sel-uh ]
/ ˈsi lə, ˈsɛl ə /


an expression occurring frequently in the Psalms, thought to be a liturgical or musical direction, probably a direction by the leader to raise the voice or perhaps an indication of a pause.

Origin of selah

First recorded in 1520–30, selah is from the Hebrew word selāh Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for selah

British Dictionary definitions for selah


/ (ˈsiːlə) /


a Hebrew word of unknown meaning occurring in the Old Testament psalms, and thought to be a musical direction

Word Origin for selah

C16: from Hebrew
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 selah


1520s, Hebrew word occurring frequently at the end of verse in Psalter. Supposed to be a liturgical direction, perhaps meaning "pause," or perhaps a musical direction to raise the voice (cf. Hebrew base s-l-l "to raise, lift").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper