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or mezuza

[muh-zoo z-uh; Sephardic Hebrew muh-zoo-zah; Ashkenazic Hebrew muh-zoo -zuh] /məˈzʊz ə; Sephardic Hebrew mə zuˈzɑ; Ashkenazic Hebrew məˈzʊ zə/
noun, plural mezuzoth, mezuzot, mezuzos
[Sephardic Hebrew muh-zoo-zawt; Ashkenazic Hebrew muh-zoo -zohs] /Sephardic Hebrew mə zuˈzɔt; Ashkenazic Hebrew məˈzʊ zoʊs/ (Show IPA).
English, mezuzahs. Judaism.
a parchment scroll inscribed on one side with the Biblical passages Deut. 6:4–9 and 11:13–21 and on the other side with the word Shaddai (a name applied to God), inserted in a small case or tube so that Shaddai is visible through an aperture in front, and attached by some Jews to the doorpost of the home.
Origin of mezuzah
1640-50; < Hebrew məzūzāh literally, doorpost Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for mezuzah
Historical Examples
  • In his perturbation he even forgets to kiss the mezuzah on the doorpost.

    The Promised Land Mary Antin
  • There they paused to kiss the divine name on the mezuzah of the door-post.

    The Imported Bridegroom Abraham Cahan
  • It was strange to me to live in a place in which every door-post bore a mezuzah.

    Ghetto Tragedies Israel Zangwill
British Dictionary definitions for mezuzah


/məˈzʊzə; -ˈzuː-; Hebrew məzʊˈzɑ; Yiddish məˈzʊzə/
noun (Judaism) (pl) -zuzahs, -zuzoth (Hebrew) (-zuˈzɔt)
a piece of parchment inscribed with biblical passages and fixed to the doorpost of the rooms of a Jewish house
a metal case for such a parchment, sometimes worn as an ornament
Word Origin
from Hebrew, literally: doorpost
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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Word Origin and History for mezuzah

1640s, from Hebrew, literally "doorpost."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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