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
SHALL WE PLAY A "SHALL" VS. "SHOULD" CHALLENGE?
Should you take this quiz on “shall” versus “should”? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?

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. 2022

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