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Alternative forms[edit]


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /sɛˈmɪ.tɪk/, /səˈmɪ.tɪk/,


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 [script?] (šumu, name" or "son).


Semitic (not comparable)

  1. Abrahamic
    • 2011, Makau Mutua, Human Rights: A Political and Cultural Critique - Page 114
      The Semitic religions (Christianity and Islam) are nationally honored in much of Africa
    • 2005, Xavier William, World Religions, True Beliefs and New Age Spirituality p 45
      In contrast to these Semitic religions some religions of Indian origin like Buddhism and Jainism, are pacifist to the extent ofbanning the killing of animals even for food
    • 2007, G T Bettany, Mohammedanism and Other Religions of Mediterranean Countries, p 45
      Thus we trace ever and again the similarities which are to be found among the Semitic religions
  2. Of or pertaining to a subdivision of Afro-Asiatic Semitic languages: Amharic, Arabic, Aramaic, Syriac, Akkadian, Hebrew, Maltese, Tigrigna, Phoenician etc.
  3. Of or pertaining to the Semites: Semitic people.
  4. (biblical) Of or pertaining to the descendants of Shem, the eldest of three sons of Noah.
  5. In a narrower sense, of or pertaining to the Israeli, Jewish, or Hebrew people.


Proper noun[edit]


  1. The Semitic languages in general.

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