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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Hebraism \He"bra*ism\, n. [Cf. F. h['e]bra["i]sme.]

  1. A Hebrew idiom or custom; a peculiar expression or manner of speaking in the Hebrew language.

  2. The type of character of the Hebrews.

    The governing idea of Hebraism is strictness of conscience.
    --M. Arnold.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1560s, "phrase or construction characteristic of the Hebrew language;" see Hebraic + -ism. Meaning "a quality or characteristic of the (biblical) Hebrew people" is from 1847.


Hebraism is the identification of a usage, trait, or characteristic of the Hebrew language. By successive extension it is often applied to the Jewish people, their faith, national ideology, or culture.

Usage examples of "hebraism".

Hebraisms and Grecisms are to be found in him without the trouble of learning the languages.

Hebraism suggests the austere and spiritual life, Hellenism the social and sensuous life.

Now neither Hebraism nor Hellenism could produce the ideal man or harmoniously develop all his best powers.

We want Hellenism for knowing and enjoying, Hebraism for acting, loving, and hoping.

Splendid culture means splendid ideals, and if a nation could acquire the clear thinking of Hellenism combined with the immense moral resolve of Hebraism, that nation, knowing its aims, and making steadily towards them, would afford a spectacle of grandeur and of power such as no nation now presents.