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Etymology 1

From Middle English {{enm|Giw}}, {{enm|Ju}}, from Template:Fro {{fro|juiu}}, {{fro|Giu}}, {{fro|gyu}}, from {{la|iūdaeus}}, from Ancient Greek {{grc|Ἰουδαῖος}}, from Hebrew {{he|יְהוּדִי|}}



Jew (plural [[Jews#|Jews]])
  1. An adherent of Judaism.
    I don't have a religion, but my sister is a Jew and my brother is a Wiccan.
  2. A person who claims a cultural or ancestral connection to the Jewish people (see secular Jew).
    • William Shakespeare The Merchant of Venice (Act III, scene I)
      Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs
      dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with
      the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject
      to the same diseases, heal'd by the same means,
      warm'd and cool'd by the same winter and summer
      as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed?
      If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us,
      do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?
Usage notes
  • The Jewish community overall has a common religion, culture, identity, and ethnicity, but individual Jews do not necessarily share all of these; therefore, a person might be a Jew by one standpoint but not by another.
  • Additionally, there are some religious groups that identify themselves as part of Judaism, but that other Jewish groups might not; hence, use of the term Jew often depends on the speaker's opinions.
  • The noun Jew is not offensive, and the overwhelming majority of English-speaking Jews use the noun Jew to identify themselves.
  • That said, it has become offensive for historical reasons to use the word Jew attributively, in modifying another noun (as in "Jew lawyer"); the adjective Jewish is preferred for this purpose.
  • Additionally, the derived verbs jew and jew down are considered offensive, as they reflect stereotypes considered offensive.
Coordinate terms
Derived terms


Jew (third-person singular simple present [[Jews#|Jews]], present participle [[Jewing#|Jewing]], simple past and past participle [[Jewed#|Jewed]])
  1. (Articlesoffensive) Template:Alternative case form of

Etymology 2

Uncertain, see Jew's harp for more.



  1. (used in certain set phrases like Jew's harp, Jew's harpist and Jew's-trump)

cs:Jew cy:Jew et:Jew el:Jew eu:Jew fr:Jew ko:Jew io:Jew it:Jew sw:Jew ku:Jew li:Jew hu:Jew no:Jew oc:Jew nds:Jew pl:Jew pt:Jew ru:Jew simple:Jew fi:Jew sv:Jew th:Jew tr:Jew zh:Jew