[ suh-mit-ik ]
/ səˈmɪt ɪk /


a subfamily of Afroasiatic languages that includes Akkadian, Arabic, Aramaic, Ethiopic, Hebrew, and Phoenician.


of or relating to the Semites or their languages, especially of or pertaining to the Jews.

Origin of Semitic

< New Latin sēmīticus, equivalent to sēmīt(a) Semite + -icus -ic


half-Se·mit·ic, adjectivenon-Se·mit·ic, adjectivepre-Se·mit·ic, adjective, nounpseu·do-Se·mit·ic, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for semitic

British Dictionary definitions for semitic


less commonly Shemitic

/ (sɪˈmɪtɪk) /


a branch or subfamily of the Afro-Asiatic family of languages that includes Arabic, Hebrew, Aramaic, Amharic, and such ancient languages as Akkadian and Phoenician


denoting, relating to, or belonging to this group of languages
denoting, belonging to, or characteristic of any of the peoples speaking a Semitic language, esp the Jews or the Arabs
another word for Jewish
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 semitic

[ (suh-mit-ik) ]

A descriptive term for several peoples of the Middle East and their descendants, including Jews (see also Jews) and Arabs (see Arab-Israeli conflict). Today the term is mainly applied to Jews. (See anti-Semitism.)

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.