Sephardim

[suh-fahr-dim, -fahr-deem]
plural noun, singular Se·phar·di [suh-fahr-dee, suh-fahr-dee] /səˈfɑr di, sə fɑrˈdi/.
  1. Jews of Spain and Portugal or their descendants, distinguished from the Ashkenazim and other Jewish communities chiefly by their liturgy, religious customs, and pronunciation of Hebrew: after expulsion from Spain and Portugal in 1492, established communities in North Africa, the Balkans, Western Europe, and elsewhere.

Origin of Sephardim

1850–55; < Modern Hebrew Səphāraddīm, plural of Səphāraddī, equivalent to < Hebrew Səphāradh (region mentioned in Bible (Obadiah 20) and assumed to be Spain) + suffix of appurtenance
Related formsSe·phar·dic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Word Origin and History for sephardic

Sephardim

plural of Sephardi "a Spanish or Portuguese Jew" (1851), from Modern Hebrew Sepharaddim "Spaniards, Jews of Spain," from Sepharad, name of a country mentioned only in Obad. v:20, probably meaning "Asia Minor" or a part of it (Lydia, Phrygia), but identified by the rabbis after the Jonathan Targum as "Spain." Related: Sephardic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper