follow Dictionary.com

How do you spell Hannukah?

bar mitzvah

[bahr mits-vuh or, Ashkenazic Hebrew bahr; Sephardic Hebrew bahr meets-vah] /bɑr ˈmɪts və or, Ashkenazic Hebrew bɑr; Sephardic Hebrew ˌbɑr mitsˈvɑ/
noun, (often initial capital letters)
1.
a solemn ceremony held in the synagogue, usually on Saturday morning, to admit as an adult member of the Jewish community a Jewish boy 13 years old who has successfully completed a prescribed course of study in Judaism.
2.
the boy participating in this ceremony.
verb (used with object)
3.
to administer the ceremony of bar mitzvah to:
Our son was bar mitzvahed at the family synagogue.
Also, bar mizvah.
Compare bat mitzvah.
Origin
1860-1865
1860-65; < Biblical Aramaic bar son + Hebrew miṣwāh divine law, commandment
Can be confused
bar mitzvah, bas mitzvah, bat mitzvah.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for bar-mitzvah

Bar Mitzvah

/bɑː ˈmɪtsvə/
adjective
1.
(of a Jewish boy) having assumed full religious obligations, being at least thirteen years of age
noun
2.
the occasion, ceremony, or celebration of that event
3.
the boy himself on that day
Word Origin
Hebrew: son of the law
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for bar-mitzvah

Bar Mitzvah

1861, in Judaism, "male person who has completed his 13th year and thus reached the age of religious responsibility," from Hebrew, literally "son of command." As a name for the ceremony itself, by 1941.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
bar-mitzvah in Culture
bar mitzvah [(bahr mits-vuh)]

An important ceremony and social event in Judaism marking the beginning of religious responsibility for Jewish boys of thirteen. Bar mitzvah is Hebrew for “son of the commandment.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for bar mitzvah

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for bar

5
6
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with bar-mitzvah

Nearby words for bar-mitzvah