Ju·da·ism (jdē-ĭz′əm, -dā-, -də-, j-dā-)
1. The monotheistic religion of the Jews, tracing its origins to Abraham and having its spiritual and ethical principles embodied chiefly in the Hebrew Scriptures and the Talmud.
2. Conformity to the traditional ceremonies and rites of the Jewish religion.
3. The cultural, religious, and social practices and beliefs of the Jews.
[Middle English Iudaisme, from Old French Judaisme, from Late Latin Iūdaismus, from Greek Ioudaismos, from Ioudaios, Jew; see JEW.]
Usage Note: The standard pronunciations for this word are (jdē-ĭz′əm) and (jdā-ĭz′əm). In our 2017 survey, the first was the preferred choice of 52 percent of the Usage Panel, and the second was favored by 30 percent. The less common variants (jdə-ĭz′əm) and (j-dāĭz′əm) were the choice of 12 percent and 5 percent of the Panel, respectively. Interestingly, none of the pronunciations enjoys the Panel's complete approval: (jdē-ĭz′əm) was found unacceptable by 20 percent; (jdā-ĭz′əm), 12%; (jdə-ĭz′əm), 60%; and (j-dāĭz′əm), 55%.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
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