Definitions

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Among the Jews, especially Russian and Eastern Jews, a professional match-maker or marriage-broker whose business it is to bring about marriages and make the contract between the parents of the parties as to the amount of dowry, etc., for which services he exacts a considerable fee from both sides. The business is not considered discreditable (it is, indeed, considered meritorious), but it is the subject of humorous treatment in novels of Jewish life.

Etymologies

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Examples

  • With phones literally ringing off the hook, BlackBerry abuzz, it's a typically hectic day for Levy, a matchmaker, or shadchan, in the Orthodox Jewish community in Midwood.

    Orthodox Matchmaker: A Love Story in Midwood

  • Chana Rose, another local shadchan, has been doing similar work for over 20 years, and has helped hundreds of people find their marriage partners.

    Orthodox Matchmaker: A Love Story in Midwood

  • Often the man and woman will not communicate over the phone until the fifth date, leaving the shadchan to track them down to find out their availability.

    Orthodox Matchmaker: A Love Story in Midwood

  • As for the comment about still not sleeping with you, sheesh, I didn't realize I had picked up a shadchan along the way.

    Misinformation: Simple Bikes Can Do Amazing Things

  • The shadchan then approaches a suitable single man or, most likely, his parents -- who add the woman to their son's typically lengthy "list."

    Single Jewish Female Seeks Stress Relief

  • After determining whether the young woman wishes to marry a "learner" (a man studying full time in yeshiva), an "earner" (a professional) or a combination of the two, the shadchan collects the prospective bride's "shidduch résumé," detailing everything from education and career plans to dress size, height, parents 'occupations and synagogue memberships.

    Single Jewish Female Seeks Stress Relief

  • When the shadchan, the marriage broker, eventually found him a nice Jewish wife, Jora went with him to look after their children.

    The Moses Expedition

  • Hannah Hayye, the only daughter of Raphael the Russian, going on sixteen, buxom, bright, capable, and well educated, could not escape the eye of the shadchan.

    The Promised Land

  • She joined the enemy -- the family and the shadchan -- and my mother saw that she was doomed.

    The Promised Land

  • She pushed and elbowed her way to the middle of the table, where the shadchan sat ready with paper and ink to take down the articles of the contract.

    The Promised Land

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