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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ He's been brought up strictly, he goes to synagogue - I respect him for that.
▪ Aside from residential projects, the firm also works on restaurants, stores and a synagogue.
▪ From now on, the message would go to everyone and not only to the synagogues.
▪ Must we find all work prosaic because our grandfather built an early synagogue?
▪ Now the Philadelphia synagogue offered to write the letter.
▪ Patinkin discovered his voice in synagogue, not in formal training.
▪ The synagogue now exhibits Hebrew manuscripts and prints.
▪ The mikva is situated in an out-building in the synagogue grounds, and there is a car park outside.
▪ Women in head scarves and long coats take a seat on the left side of the synagogue.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Synagogue \Syn"a*gogue\, n. [F., from L. synagoga, Gr. ? a bringing together, an assembly, a synagogue, fr. ? to bring together; sy`n with + ? to lead. See Syn-, and Agent.]

  1. A congregation or assembly of Jews met for the purpose of worship, or the performance of religious rites.

  2. The building or place appropriated to the religious worship of the Jews.

  3. The council of, probably, 120 members among the Jews, first appointed after the return from the Babylonish captivity; -- called also the Great Synagogue, and sometimes, though erroneously, the Sanhedrin.

  4. A congregation in the early Christian church.

    My brethren, . . . if there come into your synagogue a man with a gold ring.
    --James ii. 1,2 (Rev. Ver.).

  5. Any assembly of men. [Obs. or R.]

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

late 12c., "the regular public worship of the Jews," also the building in which this is done, from Old French sinagoge "synagogue, mosque, pagan temple" (11c., Modern French synagogue), from Late Latin synagoga "congregation of Jews," from Greek synagoge "place of assembly, synagogue; meeting, assembly," literally "a bringing together," from synagein "to gather, bring together, assemble," from syn- "together" (see syn-) + agein "bring, lead" (see act (v.)).\n

\nUsed by Greek translators of the Old Testament as a loan-translation of late Hebrew keneseth "assembly" (as in beth keneseth "synagogue," literally "house of assembly;" compare Knesset). Related: Synagogical; synagogal.


n. 1 A place where Jews meet for worship. 2 A congregation of Jews for the purpose of worship or religious study.


n. (Judaism) the place of worship for a Jewish congregation [syn: temple, tabernacle]


A synagogue, also spelled synagog (pronounced from Greek , synagogē, "assembly", Bet Kenesset, "house of assembly" or Bet Tefila, "house of prayer", shul, esnoga or kahal), is a Jewish house of prayer.

Synagogues have a large hall for prayer (the main sanctuary), and may also have smaller rooms for study and sometimes a social hall and offices. Some have a separate room for Torah study, called the Beith Midrash (Sefaradi) " beis medrash (Ashkenazi)— ("House of Study").

Synagogues are consecrated spaces used for the purpose of prayer, Torah reading, study and assembly; however a synagogue is not necessary for worship. Halakha holds that communal Jewish worship can be carried out wherever ten Jews (a minyan) assemble. Worship can also be carried out alone or with fewer than ten people assembled together. However, Halakha considers certain prayers as communal prayers and therefore they may be recited only by a minyan. The synagogue does not replace the long-since destroyed Temple in Jerusalem.

Israelis use the Hebrew term Beyt Knesset (house of assembly). Jews of Ashkenazi descent have traditionally used the Yiddish term shul (cognate with the German Schule, "school") in everyday speech. Sephardi Jews and Romaniote Jews generally use the term kal (from the Hebrew Ḳahal, meaning "community"). Spanish Jews call the synagogue a sinagoga and Portuguese Jews call it an esnoga. Persian Jews and some Karaite Jews also use the non-Hebrew term kenesa, which is derived from Aramaic, and some Arab Jews use kenis. Reform and some Conservative Jews use the word temple. The Greek word synagogue is used in English (and German and French), to cover the preceding possibilities.

Usage examples of "synagogue".

If the founder of the Christian religion had deemed belief in the Gospel and a life in accordance with it to be compatible with membership of the Synagogue and observance of the Jewish law, there could at least be no impossibility of adhering to the Gospel within the Catholic Church.

Synagogue of Satan to hurl thunderbolts against the Holy Apostolic See, and diabolically to decree the subjection of the Pope to the Council, the confiscation of his annates, dearer to him than the apple of his eye, and finally his own deposition.

When Mardocheus came back from the synagogue he asked me gaily why I had mortified his daughter, as she had declared she had done nothing to offend me.

Though young, and roughly habited, I have seen the world a little, and may offer next Sabbath in the synagogue more dirhems than you would perhaps suppose.

It was a rule of the Mellah that on notice being given of a death in their quarter, the clerk of the synagogue should publish it at the first service thereafter, in order that a body of men, called the Hebra Kadisha of Kabranim, the Holy Society of Buriers, might straightway make arrangements for burial.

And that ol' Jewboy, Cohen, when was the last time he set foot in a synagogue?

I had my effects taken upstairs, and then went with Mardocheus to the synagogue.

Clopin avec emportement, que je ne suis pas juif, et que je te ferai pendre, ventre de synagogue!

If the synagogue knew nothing of this burial, no Jew in the Mellah would be found so poor that he would have need to know more.

In the evening previous to the feast of expiation, a man wishing to pry into futurity carried a lighted candle to the synagogue, and from particular appearances of the flame he prognosticated whether good was to follow him and his, or whether he and his family were to be overtaken by evil.

The painful and even dangerous rite of circumcision was alone capable of repelling a willing proselyte from the door of the synagogue.

In one of their visits to the city, they were scandalized by the aspect of a mosque or synagogue, in which one God was worshipped, without a partner or a son.

She envisioned the beautiful smile on his face, the tears in his eyes, if he could have seen Jolson wrapped in his tallith sing Kol Nidre in the synagogue.

The English Jew, who is often strictly orthodox but entirely anglicized in his habits, is less disliked than the European refugee who has probably not been near a synagogue for thirty years.

Well into the second century, synagogues had provided Aramaic translations, or Targums, of Hebrew scripture to the uneducated masses.