a High German language with an admixture of vocabulary from Hebrew and the Slavic languages, written in Hebrew letters, and spoken mainly by Jews in eastern and central Europe and by Jewish emigrants from these regions and their descendants.


of, relating to, or characteristic of Yiddish.

Origin of Yiddish

1885–90; < Yiddish yidish; see yid, -ish1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for yiddish

Contemporary Examples of yiddish

Historical Examples of yiddish

  • I could read while daylight lasted, if I chose, in the Yiddish.

  • Ink was cheap, and the epistle, in Yiddish, occupied me for many hot summer hours.

  • The Yiddish newspapers of the day were excellent, and my father subscribed to the best of them.

  • They tell me the old spout shop is now turned into a Yiddish theatre.

    A Pirate of Parts

    Richard Neville

  • Nor did she ever know that she had said these words in Yiddish!

    Ghetto Comedies

    Israel Zangwill

British Dictionary definitions for yiddish



a language spoken as a vernacular by Jews in Europe and elsewhere by Jewish emigrants, usually written in the Hebrew alphabet. Historically, it is a dialect of High German with an admixture of words of Hebrew, Romance, and Slavonic origin, developed in central and E Europe during the Middle Ages


in or relating to this language

Word Origin for Yiddish

C19: from German jüdisch, from Jude Jew
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

Word Origin and History for yiddish


1875, from Yiddish yidish, from Middle High German jüdisch "Jewish" (in phrase jüdisch deutsch "Jewish-German"), from jude "Jew," from Old High German judo, from Latin Judaeus (see Jew). The English word has been re-borrowed in German as jiddisch.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper