[ yid-ish ]
/ ˈyɪd ɪʃ /


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

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British Dictionary definitions for yiddish


/ (ˈjɪdɪʃ) /


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