Dictionary.com

Semite

[ sem-ahyt or, especially British, see-mahyt ]
/ ˈsɛm aɪt or, especially British, ˈsi maɪt /
Save This Word!

noun
a member of any of various ancient and modern peoples originating in southwestern Asia, including the Akkadians, Canaanites, Phoenicians, Hebrews, and Arabs.
a Jew.
a member of any of the peoples descended from Shem, the eldest son of Noah.
QUIZ
ARE YOU A TRUE BLUE CHAMPION OF THESE "BLUE" SYNONYMS?
We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.
Question 1 of 8
Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of Semite

1870–75; <New Latin sēmīta<Late Latin Sēm (<Greek Sḗm<Hebrew ShēmShem) + -īta-ite1

OTHER WORDS FROM Semite

non-Semite, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use Semite in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Semite

Semite

less commonly Shemite

/ (ˈsiːmaɪt) /

noun
a member of the group of Caucasoid peoples who speak a Semitic language, including the Jews and Arabs as well as the ancient Babylonians, Assyrians, and Phoenicians
another word for a Jew

Word Origin for Semite

C19: from New Latin sēmīta descendant of Shem, via Greek Sēm, from Hebrew Shem
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 Semite

Semite
[ (sem-eyet) ]

Someone who belongs to the Semitic peoples. The Semites are supposedly descended from the biblical Shem, the eldest son of Noah.

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.
FEEDBACK