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

  • n. A small Jewish town or village formerly found throughout Eastern Europe.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A Jewish village or small town, especially one in Eastern Europe.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A village or small town; -- usually referring to Jewish towns in Eastern Europe.


Yiddish, from Middle High German stetel, diminutive of stat, town, from Old High German, place.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Yiddish שטעטל (shtetl, "small town, village"), from שטאָט (shtot, "city") (compare German Stadt), from Old High German stat, from Proto-Germanic *stadiz, from Proto-Indo-European *stéh₂tis. (Wiktionary)



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