Definitions

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

  • n. Judaism The 14th of Adar, observed in celebration of the deliverance of the Jews from massacre by Haman.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. A Jewish festival, celebrated on the 14th day of Adar, commemorating the deliverance of the Persian Jews from a massacre.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A Jewish festival, called also the Feast of Lots, instituted to commemorate the deliverance of the Jews from the machinations of Haman.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An annual festival observed by the Jews on the 14th and 15th of the month Adar (about the 1st of March).

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

  • n. (Judaism) a Jewish holy day commemorating their deliverance from massacre by Haman

Etymologies

Hebrew pûrîm, pl. of pûr, lot (from the lots Haman cast to decide the day of the massacre, Esther 9:24-26), from Akkadian pūru, lot.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Hebrew פורים (literally "lots"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Oded Balilty/Associated Press PURIM PRAYERS: Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men gathered to celebrate Purim in Bnei Brak, Israel, Tuesday.

    Today's Photos: March 10

  • The day of the slaughter was determined by casting lots, hence the name Purim from pur, or “lot.”

    Celebration Breads

  • Pesach, Pesach a la mano which in the Ladino language means that Purim is over and Passover is approaching.

    Pesach Cake With Walnuts « Baking History

  • Besides these three great festivals, certain minor ones were observed by the Hebrews: The word Purim is probably of Persian origin

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 2: Assizes-Browne

  • So instead I'm acknowledging my own heritage of early spring carnival, aka Purim and wishing you all very happy couple of days of dressing up, drinking and making noise.

    Happy Purim!

  • Esther responsible for the name Purim, but this theory is refuted by the "Mêgillah Ta’anith" (second century, a.d.), where 13 Adar is still called "Nicanor Day".

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 12: Philip II-Reuss

  • So, for everyone else in the room, hamantaschen are three-cornered cookies, filled traditionally with prunes, poppy seed paste or jellies and served during the Jewish holiday of Purim, which is, more or less, the Jewish Mardi Gras/Halloween and runs until next Tuesday.

    hamataschen + five details | smitten kitchen

  • The last couple of days have been Purim, which is a party holiday and people are walking all over Tel Aviv with funny clothes and blue wigs and having a good time.

    CNN Transcript Mar 19, 2003

  • It was probably called Purim by the Jews in irony.

    Smith's Bible Dictionary

  • It's not just the costumes and masks behind which friends are so well hidden that you can't always tell who is who, and not just the parodic upending of hierarchy that is a regular feature of "Purim Spiel" performances and the mock religious lessons known as "Purim Torah."

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

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