Tetragrammaton

Tetragrammaton

[te-truh-gram-uh-ton]
noun
the hebrew word for God, consisting of the four letters yod, he, vav, and he, transliterated consonantally usually as YHVH, now pronounced as Adonai or Elohim in substitution for the original pronunciation forbidden since the 2nd or 3rd century b.c.
Compare Yahweh.


Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English < Greek tetragrámmaton, noun use of neuter of tetragrámmatos having four letters, equivalent to tetra- tetra- + grammat- (stem of grámma) letter + -os adj. suffix

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Tetragrammaton (ˌtɛtrəˈɡræmətən)
 
n
Bible Sometimes shortened to: Tetragram the Hebrew name for God revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai (Exodus 3), consisting of the four consonants Y H V H (or Y H W H) and regarded by Jews as too sacred to be pronounced. It is usually transliterated as Jehovah or Yahweh
 
[C14: from Greek, from tetragrammatos having four letters, from tetra- + gramma letter]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

tetragrammaton
c.1400, from Gk. (to) tetragrammaton "(the word) of four letters," from tetra- "four" + gramma (gen. grammatos) "letter, something written." The Hebrew divine name, transliterated as YHWH, usually vocalized in English as "Jehovah" or "Yahweh."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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