[hah-nuh-kuh; Ashkenazic Hebrew khah-nuh-kuh; Sephardic Hebrew khah-noo-kah]
a Jewish festival lasting eight days, celebrated from the 25th day of the month of Kislev to the 2nd of Tevet in commemoration of the rededication of the Temple by the Maccabees following their victory over the Syrians under Antiochus IV, characterized chiefly by the lighting of the menorah on each night of the festival.
Also, Chanukah.
Also called Feast of Dedication, Feast of Lights.

1890–95; < Hebrew ḥănukkāh literally, a dedicating

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World English Dictionary
Hanukkah, Hanukah or Chanukah (ˈhɑːnəkə, -nʊˌkɑː, Hebrew xanuˈka, ˈhɑːnəkə, -nʊˌkɑː, Hebrew xanuˈka, ˈhɑːnəkə, -nʊˌkɑː, Hebrew xanuˈka)
Feast of Dedication, Also called: Feast of Lights the eight-day Jewish festival of lights beginning on the 25th of Kislev and commemorating the rededication of the temple by Judas Maccabaeus in 165 bc
[from Hebrew, literally: a dedication]
Hanukah, Hanukah or Chanukah
[from Hebrew, literally: a dedication]
Chanukah, Hanukah or Chanukah
[from Hebrew, literally: a dedication]

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Word Origin & History

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
Hanukkah [(khah-nuh-kuh, hah-nuh-kuh)]

A festival in Judaism that occurs each December. Hanukkah commemorates the victory of the Jews in the second century b.c. over the Syrians, who had occupied their country, and the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem (hanukkah is Hebrew for “dedication”). Observers of Hanukkah light one candle in a candleholder called a menorah each night for eight nights in memory of a legend that, when the Temple was rededicated, its lamps burned, without enough oil, miraculously for a week.

Note: Hanukkah was formerly one of the less important Jewish festivals, but today it is celebrated by Jews in many parts of the world — especially the United States, where it overlaps with the celebration of Christmas.
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