shekels

shekel

[shek-uhl]
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:
1550–60; < Hebrew sheqel

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
shekel or sheqel (ˈʃɛkəl)
 
n
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.  informal (often plural) any coin or money
 
[C16: from Hebrew sheqel]
 
sheqel or sheqel
 
n
 
[C16: from Hebrew sheqel]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

shekel
early 13c., sicle, via O.Fr. and L. from Heb. sheqel, from shaqal "he weighed." Chief silver coin of ancient Hebrews, also a unit of weight. Modern form in Eng. dates from mid-16c. As slang for "money," it dates from 1871.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

shekels definition

[ˈʃɛklæz]
  1. n.
    dollars; money. (From the Hebrew name for a unit of weight.) : You got a few shekels you can spare?
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Shekel definition


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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