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or matzah, matzoh

[maht-suh; Sephardic Hebrew mah-tsah; Ashkenazic Hebrew mah-tsaw] /ˈmɑt sə; Sephardic Hebrew mɑˈtsɑ; Ashkenazic Hebrew ˈmɑ tsɔ/
noun, plural matzos, matzoth, matzot
[maht-suh z; Sephardic Hebrew mah-tsawt; Ashkenazic Hebrew mah-tsohs] /ˈmɑt səz; Sephardic Hebrew mɑˈtsɔt; Ashkenazic Hebrew ˈmɑ tsoʊs/ (Show IPA)
unleavened bread in the form of large crackers, typically square and corrugated, eaten by Jews during Passover.
one of these crackers.
Origin of matzo
1840-50; < Yiddish matse < Hebrew maṣṣāh Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for matzo
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But the old woman who remembered the matzo did, more than anybody else.

  • Feitel broke the "matzo" in halves, and gave one half to his friend.

    Jewish Children Sholem Naumovich Rabinovich
  • Tonight, you must eat with us fish and soup and 'matzo'-balls.

    Jewish Children Sholem Naumovich Rabinovich
  • We had had neither bread nor matzo for dinner, and were more hungry than ever, if that is possible.

  • Feitel drew out from under his blouse a whole fresh, white "matzo," covered with holes on both sides.

    Jewish Children Sholem Naumovich Rabinovich
British Dictionary definitions for matzo


noun (pl) matzos, matzohs, matzas, matzahs, matzoth (Hebrew) (maˈtsɔt)
a brittle very thin biscuit of unleavened bread, traditionally eaten during Passover
Word Origin
from Hebrew matsāh
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
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matzo in Culture
matzo [(maht-suh)]

A flat piece of unleavened bread, resembling a large cracker, used by Jews in place of yeast bread during Passover. According to the biblical account of Passover, God directed the ancestors of the Jews to eat unleavened bread, rather than delay their departure from Egypt by waiting for bread to rise.

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