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[suh-fahr-dim, -fahr-deem] /səˈfɑr dɪm, -fɑrˈdim/
plural noun, singular Sephardi
[suh-fahr-dee, suh-fahr-dee] /səˈfɑr di, sə fɑrˈdi/ (Show IPA)
Jews of Spain and Portugal or their descendants, distinguished from the Ashkenazim and other Jewish communities chiefly by their liturgy, religious customs, and pronunciation of Hebrew: after expulsion from Spain and Portugal in 1492, established communities in North Africa, the Balkans, Western Europe, and elsewhere.
Origin of Sephardim
1850-55; < Modern Hebrew Səphāraddīm, plural of Səphāraddī, equivalent to < Hebrew Səphāradh (region mentioned in Bible (Obadiah 20) and assumed to be Spain) + suffix of appurtenance
Related forms
Sephardic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Word Origin and History for sephardic


plural of Sephardi "a Spanish or Portuguese Jew" (1851), from Modern Hebrew Sepharaddim "Spaniards, Jews of Spain," from Sepharad, name of a country mentioned only in Obad. v:20, probably meaning "Asia Minor" or a part of it (Lydia, Phrygia), but identified by the rabbis after the Jonathan Targum as "Spain." Related: Sephardic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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