mik·vah (mĭkvə, mēk-vä)
n. pl. mik·voth or mik·vot (-vōt, -vōs) or mik·vahs
1. A ritual purification bath that is taken by observant Jews on certain occasions, as before marriage or after menstruation or childbirth, or when converting to Orthodox or Conservative Judaism.
2. A building, room, or fixture in which this bath takes place.
[Hebrew miqwâ, reservoir or miqwe, collection (of water), immersion pool, both from qāwâ, to collect; see qbw 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:
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