[ toh-ruh, tawr-uh; Sephardic Hebrew toh-rah; Ashkenazic Hebrew toh-ruh, toi-ruh ]

  1. Also the Torah . the five books containing the Law as revealed to Moses, constituting the first of the three divisions of Jewish Scripture: In the desert of life filled with obstacles and challenges, the light of Torah helps lead the way.: Compare Pentateuch. See also Tanakh.

  2. a parchment scroll on which the five books of the Law are written, used in synagogue services.

  1. Also the Torah .

    • the entire body of Jewish Scripture, including all three divisions; Tanakh.

    • the entire body of Jewish religious literature, law, and teaching as contained chiefly in the Tanakh and the Talmud.

  2. law or instruction.

Origin of Torah

First recorded in 1570–80; from Hebrew tôrāh “instruction, law”; akin to hôrāh “to teach,” yārāh “to throw”
  • Sometimes to·rah, To·ra .

Words Nearby Torah Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use Torah in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Torah


/ (ˈtəʊrə, Hebrew tɔˈra) /

    • the Pentateuch

    • the scroll on which this is written, used in synagogue services

  1. the whole body of traditional Jewish teaching, including the Oral Law

  1. (modifier) promoting or according with traditional Jewish Law

Origin of Torah

C16: from Hebrew: precept, from yārāh to instruct

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 Torah


[ (toh-ruh, tawr-uh, toy-ruh) ]

The law on which Judaism is founded (torah is Hebrew for “law”). This law is contained in the first five books of the Bible (see also Bible) (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy). Torah can also refer to the entire body of Jewish law and wisdom, including what is contained in oral tradition.

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.