Star of David

Save This Word!

a hexagram used as a symbol of Judaism.
Do you know the difference between everyday US and UK terminology? Test yourself with this quiz on words that differ across the Atlantic.
Question 1 of 7
In the UK, COTTON CANDY is more commonly known as…
Also called Magen David, Mogen David, Shield of David.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is the Star of David?

The Star of David is a stylized hexagram that is used as a symbol of Judaism.

A hexagram is a six-sided star made by symmetrically overlaying two equilateral triangles, with one point of each triangle facing in opposite directions, as with ✡.

The symbol is used by members of the Jewish faith to represent their religion. It is often displayed on synagogues and Jewish burial markers, as well as on other things. Jewish people sometimes wear a Star of David on a necklace to indicate their faith.

The hexagram became a symbol of David, the second king of Israel, because it was supposedly painted on his shield. Centuries after his death, the Star of David became a symbol of protection and history of the Jewish people, applying the shield metaphor to the protection the faith promises.

Example: Rachel received a lovely necklace with a Star of David for her bat mitzvah.

Where does the Star of David come from?

The first records of the symbol term Star of David come from around the 1890s. Star refers to the shape of the symbol, and David refers to the second king of Israel, who died in c. 970 BCE. The first records of the symbol itself are unknown, but the first records of usage of it by Jews to symbolize their faith come from the 1600s.

The hexagram had been used as a mystical, magical icon for centuries but became known as the Star of David after medieval Jews interpreted the Jewish sacred scriptures’ term Magen David as the hexagram imprinted on David’s shield. In the 1100s, Jewish mystics began printing the Star of David on buildings, clothing, and commodities as a way to protect against evil.

During World War II, the Germans forced German Jews to wear a yellow Star of David to identify themselves as Jews. Despite this, the symbol remained important to Jews, with Israel adopting a national flag featuring the Star of David in the center in 1948. Jews worldwide continue to use it as a symbol of their faith.

Did you know … ?

What are some synonyms for the Star of David?

What are some words that share a root or word element with the Star of David?

What are some words that often get used in discussing the Star of David?

How is the Star of David discussed in real life?

The Star of David is almost always discussed in reference to the Jewish faith.


British Dictionary definitions for Star of David

Star of David

an emblem symbolizing Judaism and consisting of a six-pointed star formed by superimposing one inverted equilateral triangle upon another of equal sizeAlso called: Magen David
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