Ba·al (bääl′, bäl, bāl)
n. pl. Ba·als or Ba·a·lim (bää-lĭm, bälĭm)
1. Any of various local fertility and nature gods of the ancient Semitic peoples considered to be false gods by the Hebrews.
2. often baal A false god or idol.
[Hebrew ba'al, lord, Baal; see bʿl in the Appendix of Semitic roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.