Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Bible Jacob.
  • n. Bible The descendants of Jacob.
  • n. Judaism The Hebrew people, past, present, and future, regarded as the chosen people of God by virtue of the covenant of Jacob.
  • An ancient kingdom of Palestine founded by Saul c. 1025 B.C. After 933 it split into the Northern Kingdom, or kingdom of Israel, and the kingdom of Judah to the south. Israel was overthrown by the Assyrians in 721.
  • A country of southwest Asia on the eastern Mediterranean Sea. It was established in 1948 following the British withdrawal from Palestine, which had been divided by recommendation of the United Nations into Jewish and Arab states. Discord with neighboring Arab countries that had rejected the UN partition led to numerous wars, notably in 1948-1949, 1956-1957, 1967, and 1973. In the Six-Day War of 1967 Israel occupied the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jerusalem's Old City, the Golan Heights, and the Sinai Peninsula. The Golan Heights and Jerusalem were later annexed, and the Sinai was returned to Egypt in 1982. A 1993 Israeli-Palestinian accord granted limited Palestinian autonomy in the Gaza Strip, and a similar accord calling for Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank was signed in 1994. Jerusalem is the capital and Tel Aviv-Yafo the largest city. Population: 6,430,000.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. The State of Israel, a modern country in the Middle East, at the eastern shore of the Mediterranean.
  • proper n. The Land of Israel, a region that is roughly coextensive with the State of Israel.
  • proper n. A nation that occupied roughly the same area in ancient times.
  • proper n. An ancient kingdom that occupied the northern part of this area, as distinct from Judah.
  • proper n. The Jews, taken collectively.
  • proper n. A name given to Jacob (Genesis 32:28).
  • proper n. A male given name.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an ancient kingdom of the Hebrew tribes at the southeastern end of the Mediterranean Sea; founded by Saul around 1025 BC and destroyed by the Assyrians in 721 BC
  • n. Jewish republic in southwestern Asia at eastern end of Mediterranean; formerly part of Palestine

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English, from Latin, from Greek Israēl, from Hebrew yiśrā'ēl, God has striven, God has saved : yiśrā, he has striven, saved; see śry in Semitic roots + 'ēl, God; see אl in Semitic roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Hebrew יִשְׂרָאֵל (yisra'él, "Israel"), which, in Biblical Hebrew, means "he who wrestles with God" (a Biblical name for Jacob after he wrestles with an adversary). (Wiktionary)

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