plural noun, singular Ashkenazi [ahsh-kuh-nah-zee] .
Jews of central and eastern Europe, or their descendants, distinguished from the Sephardim chiefly by their liturgy, religious customs, and pronunciation of hebrew.

1830–40; < post-Biblical Hebrew ashkənazzīm, plural of ashkənazzī, equivalent to ashkənaz Ashkenaz + suffix of appurtenance

Ashkenazic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
Ashkenazi (ˌæʃkəˈnɑːzɪ)
n , pl -zim
1.  (modifier) of or relating to the Jews of Germany and E Europe
2.  a Jew of German or E European descent
3.  the pronunciation of Hebrew used by these Jews
[C19: Late Hebrew, from Hebrew Ashkenaz, the son of Gomer (Genesis 10:3; I Chronicles 1:6), a descendant of Noah through Japheth, and hence taken to be identified with the ancient Ascanians of Phrygia and, in the medieval period, the Germans]

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Word Origin & History

(pl.) "central and northern European Jews" (as opposed to Sephardim, Jews of Spain and Portugal), 1839, from Heb. Ashkenazzim, pl. of Ashkenaz, eldest son of Gomer (Gen. x.3), also the name of a people mentioned in Jer. li.27 (perhaps akin to Gk. skythoi "Scythians," cf. Akkad. ishkuzai); in Middle Ages,
applied to Germany.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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