[ te-truh-gram-uh-ton ]
/ ˌtɛ trəˈgræm əˌtɒn /


the Hebrew word for God, consisting of the four letters yod, he, vav, and he, transliterated consonantally usually as YHVH, now pronounced as Adonai or Elohim in substitution for the original pronunciation forbidden since the 2nd or 3rd century b.c.


Are You A Word Of The Day Whiz? Take The February Challenge
Test your memory on some of our favorite words from February.
Question 1 of 15
Which sentence uses the adjective fictile correctly?
Compare Yahweh.

Origin of Tetragrammaton

1350–1400; Middle English < Greek tetragrámmaton, noun use of neuter of tetragrámmatos having four letters, equivalent to tetra- tetra- + grammat- (stem of grámma) letter + -os adj. suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for tetragrammaton

/ (ˌtɛtrəˈɡræmətən) /


Bible the Hebrew name for God revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai (Exodus 3), consisting of the four consonants Y H V H (or Y H W H) and regarded by Jews as too sacred to be pronounced. It is usually transliterated as Jehovah or YahwehSometimes shortened to: Tetragram

Word Origin for Tetragrammaton

C14: from Greek, from tetragrammatos having four letters, from tetra- + gramma letter
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