a. Any of several ancient units of weight, especially a Hebrew unit equal to about a half ounce.
b. A gold or silver coin equal in weight to one of these units, especially the chief silver coin of the ancient Hebrews.
c. Variant of sheqel.
a. A coin.
b. shekels Money.
[Hebrew šeqel, from šāqal, to weigh; see ṯql in the Appendix of Semitic roots.]
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
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.