Definitions

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

  • n. Judaism A seven-day period of formal mourning observed after the funeral of a close relative.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a weeklong period of formal mourning for a close relative

Etymologies

Yiddish shive, from Hebrew šib'â, seven; see šbʿ in Semitic roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Hebrew  ("seven") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The Hebrew word "shiva" means seven and refers to the number of days the mourners are required to stay at home receiving visitors to pay their condolences.

    Rabbi Jason Miller: Sitting Shiva For Traditional Shiva

  • Luckily I kept the fact that my suitcase was slightly -over- the weight limit on the way here in mind and only bought a small Christmas present for my mother and a small but cool stone called a shiva linga, which is a stone gathered in a special yearly ceremony from the Namada River.

    Cat Rambo

  • She’s in shiva black and pearls, though she also appears on the screen, turned via photoshop into an ab-proud Pussycat dancer.

    TV Upfronts: America’s Next Top Avatar - ArtsBeat Blog - NYTimes.com

  • Of course, the idea of shiva is that the mourners shouldn't have to worry about making sure their house is clean for shiva or if there will be enough food or ample parking.

    Rabbi Jason Miller: Sitting Shiva For Traditional Shiva

  • Less than two miles away, the Orthodox Jewish family of the 8-year-old boy who got lost on his first walk home from a religious day camp and encountered Aron began a week-long mourning ritual known as "shiva."

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • But following the week of Jewish mourning called shiva, he returned to his writing.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • I stopped off at her parents 'home Wednesday, where the family gathered for the traditional Jewish "shiva" or seven-day mourning period.

    A Sickening Thud

  • In Judaism, 'shiva' refers to the week-long period of mourning for the seven first-degree relatives of the deceased.

    PageOneQ.com Latest

  • “My main character is a Jewish cantor and he makes a home for his ex-wife in his guest room after he’s widowed from his second wife and the first wife gets a skull fracture while he’s sitting shiva, which is when people come to pay their respects.”

    Isabel’s Bed

  • Yet when Two and a Half Men star Charlie Sheen recently identified himself as Jewish, the Jewish community began sitting shiva -- they went into mourning.

    Mark C. Miller: Can Judaism Save Charlie Sheen?

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