From Semite + -ic (18th century), from German semitisch, from Ancient Greek Σημ (Sēm), from the Hebrew שֵׂם (Šēm, “Shem”), the name of the eldest son of Noah in biblical tradition (Genesis 5.32, 6.10, 10.21), considered the forefather of the Semitic peoples. Perhaps derived from Akkadian (šumu, “name" or "son”).
Semitic (not comparable)
- Of or pertaining to a subdivision of Afro-Asiatic Semitic languages: Amharic, Arabic, Aramaic, Syriac, Akkadian, Hebrew, Maltese, Tigrigna, Phoenician etc.
- Of or pertaining to the Semites: Semitic people.
- (biblical) Of or pertaining to the descendants of Shem, the eldest of three sons of Noah.
- In a narrower sense, of or pertaining to the Israeli, Jewish, or Hebrew people.
- The Semitic languages in general.