Definitions

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

  • n. Lord. Used in Judaism as a spoken substitute for the ineffable name of God.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. YHWH, the ineffable name of God, is read as Adonai ("My Lord") or as Elohim. The word Adonai is normally used only in prayer, else the speaker risks taking the Lord’s name in vain. In normal speech, the word HaShem ("The Name") is used instead.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A Hebrew name for God, usually translated in the Old Testament by the word “Lord”.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A Hebrew name of God, reverentially used in reading as a substitute for the “ineffable name” JHVH, that is, Jehovah. See Adonist and Jehovah.

Etymologies

Hebrew 'ădônāy, my lord : 'ādôn, lord; see אd in Semitic roots + -ay, my.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Hebrew אֲדֹנָי, "My Lord"; used in place of the Tetragrammaton YHWH as a name of the God of the Hebrews during prayer recitation. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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