American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Judaism The opening prayer recited on the eve of Yom Kippur, declaring the annulment of all personal vows made to God in the preceding year.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The opening words of the most solemn prayer of the Jewish ritual for the eve of the atonement fast. It is chanted three times by three pious members, including the hazzan, or cantor. The reformed communities of America and Europe have discarded it, owing to the fact that it seems to release the supplicants from all vows from one Day of Atonement until the next, according to one of its declarations.
- n. the opening prayer on the eve of Yom Kippur
- Aramaic kol nidrê, all vows (the opening words of the prayer) : kol, all; see kll in Semitic roots + nidrê, pl. bound form of nidrā, vow (from nədar, to vow; see nḏr in Semitic roots). (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The men had left work early to give them time to bathe, change into holiday clothes, dine, and still get to the synagogue before sundown when the chanting of Kol Nidre ushered in the Holy Day.”
“Normally she did not mind, but tonight she had promised to baby-sit across the street for Liz Marcus so she could go to the Kol Nidre service.”
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