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From the Hebrew יוֹנָה (yoná, dove).


Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Jonah on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
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Wiktionary has an Appendix listing books of the Bible

Proper noun[edit]

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  1. A male given name.
    • 2010 Maggie O'Farrell, The Hand That First Held Mine, Headline, ISBN 9780755308453, page 165:
      'It's Jonah,' Ted says.
      Simmy considers this. 'As in the whale?'
      'You know,' Simmy says, 'that people are going to say that to him for ever more?'
      'What? The whale thing?'
      Ted shrugs again. 'Well. He'll get used to it. All names have got some associations. Anyway, he looks like a Jonah. And I like the name Jonah—'
      'Obviously,' Simmy cuts in, 'since you chose it.'
  2. (biblical) A minor prophet who was cast into the sea and swallowed by a whale.
  3. A book of the Old Testament and the Hebrew Tanakh.
  4. The 10th sura (chapter) of the Qur'an.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



Jonah (plural Jonahs)

  1. (nautical, slang) A person who brings a ship bad luck.
  2. (slang, by extension of the nautical sense) Any person or object which is deemed to cause bad luck; a jinx.
    • 1979, John Le Carré, Smiley's People, Folio Society 2010, p. 61:
      ‘My first agent, and he's dead. It's incredible. I feel like a complete Jonah.’


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


  • J. van der Schaar, “Woordenboek van voornamen”, Utrecht, Antwerpen 1964, Aula-boeken 176, Uitgeverij Het Spectrum