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[see-luh, sel-uh] /ˈsi lə, ˈsɛl ə/
an expression occurring frequently in the Psalms, thought to be a liturgical or musical direction, probably a direction by the leader to raise the voice or perhaps an indication of a pause.
Origin of selah
1520-30; < Hebrew selāh Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for selah
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "She doesn't want a piano—she doesn't want anything," selah remarked, giving no apparent attention to his wife.

  • But you will not be lovable then, selah; you will only be horribly intelligent and capable.

    The Co-Citizens Corra Harris
  • The selah bids the listener meditate on that prolonged revelation.

  • Yea, verily, there'll be nothing left when we get through—selah!

    The Sins of the Father Thomas Dixon
  • It was to these women that selah came with her definite plans for better conditions for them and their children.

    The Co-Citizens Corra Harris
  • "My only interest is to draw her out," said selah, defending his integrity.

  • The next moment selah stood in the door of Mrs. Walton's bedroom, staring with horrified eyes.

    The Co-Citizens Corra Harris
  • "My house is not so fine as selah deserves, but it is not a cave," he retorted, flattening himself sidewise in order to pass.

    The Co-Citizens Corra Harris
  • The Colonel was now peacefully snoring with both feet bandaged and elevated upon pillows; and selah was waiting upon the veranda.

    The Co-Citizens Corra Harris
British Dictionary definitions for selah


a Hebrew word of unknown meaning occurring in the Old Testament psalms, and thought to be a musical direction
Word Origin
C16: from Hebrew
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 selah

1520s, Hebrew word occurring frequently at the end of verse in Psalter. Supposed to be a liturgical direction, perhaps meaning "pause," or perhaps a musical direction to raise the voice (cf. Hebrew base s-l-l "to raise, lift").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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selah in the Bible

a word frequently found in the Book of Psalms, and also in Hab. 3:9, 13, about seventy-four times in all in Scripture. Its meaning is doubtful. Some interpret it as meaning "silence" or "pause;" others, "end," "a louder strain," "piano," etc. The LXX. render the word by daplasma i.e., "a division."

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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