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shekel

[shek-uh l] /ˈʃɛk əl/
noun
1.
Also, sheqel. a paper money, cupronickel or silver coin, and monetary unit of Israel equal to 100 agorot: replaced the pound in 1980.
2.
an ancient, originally Babylonian, unit of weight, of varying value, taken as equal to the fiftieth or the sixtieth part of a mina or to about a quarter to half an ounce.
3.
a coin of this weight, especially the chief silver coin of the ancient Hebrews.
4.
shekels, Slang. money; cash.
Origin of shekel
1550-1560
1550-60; < Hebrew sheqel
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for shekel
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The shekel was equal to about an ounce, in our modern avoirdupois system.

    Hebrew Life and Times Harold B. Hunting
  • You call a thousand pounds respectable, and a shekel despicable.

    Burlesques William Makepeace Thackeray
  • The payment of the shekel gives the right of vote for the congress.

    Zionism and Anti-Semitism Max Simon Nordau
  • They've got all their own money back, and all of ourn but a shekel or two besides.

    Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Complete Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • The highest sum which is named—fifty shekels—as the rate for a man from twenty to sixty years of age, taking the shekel as 2s.

  • According to our estimate a shekel was about 0.3 of an avoirdupois ounce.

    The Bible Story Rev. Newton Marshall Hall
  • If a man hires a boat of 60 Gur burden, he shall pay of a shekel of money per day.

    Archology and the Bible George A. Barton
  • I will give you a quarter of a shekel for it; and if you find any more bring them to me.

    The Curious Book of Birds Abbie Farwell Brown
  • Old tombstones to a Shackel, shekel or Shackle family—the name is spelled in many ways—abound here.

British Dictionary definitions for shekel

shekel

/ˈʃɛkəl/
noun
1.
the standard monetary unit of modern Israel, divided into 100 agorot
2.
any of several former coins and units of weight of the Near East
3.
(often pl) (informal) any coin or money
Word Origin
C16: from Hebrew sheqel
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 shekel
n.

early 13c., sicle, via Old French and Latin, from Hebrew sheqel, from shaqal "he weighed." Chief silver coin of ancient Hebrews, also a unit of weight. Modern form in English dates from mid-16c. As slang for "money," it dates from 1871.

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

weight, the common standard both of weight and value among the Hebrews. It is estimated at 220 English grains, or a little more than half an ounce avoirdupois. The "shekel of the sanctuary" (Ex. 30:13; Num. 3:47) was equal to twenty gerahs (Ezek. 45:12). There were shekels of gold (1 Chr. 21:25), of silver (1 Sam. 9:8), of brass (17:5), and of iron (7). When it became a coined piece of money, the shekel of gold was equivalent to about 2 pound of our money. Six gold shekels, according to the later Jewish system, were equal in value to fifty silver ones. The temple contribution, with which the public sacrifices were bought (Ex. 30:13; 2 Chr. 24:6), consisted of one common shekel, or a sanctuary half-shekel, equal to two Attic drachmas. The coin, a stater (q.v.), which Peter found in the fish's mouth paid this contribution for both him and Christ (Matt. 17:24, 27). A zuza, or quarter of a shekel, was given by Saul to Samuel (1 Sam. 9:8).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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