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From Semite +‎ -ism


Semitism (countable and uncountable, plural Semitisms)

  1. (countable) A word or phrase (construction or idiom) typical of or influenced by Hebrew or Aramaic. (Compare Hebraism.)
    • 2004, Takamitsu Muraoka, Septuagint Lexicography, in Biblical Greek Language and Lexicography (edited by Bernard A. Taylor, John A. L. Lee, Peter R. Burton, and Richard E. Whitaker; →ISBN, page 85:
      The main reason for this neglect is the fact that it is largely a translated text, a fact which is alleged to account for its strange idiom tinged with Semitic traits, largely in syntax and lexicography. For sure, one can easily identify countless Semitisms.
    • 2009, James R. Edwards, The Hebrew Gospel and the Development of the Synoptic Tradition, →ISBN, page 142:
      In other words, 93% of the Semitisms in Luke — more than nine out of 10 Semitisms in the chart — are unique to Luke. Of all Luke's Semitisms, only 15 (= 2%) appear in common with both Matthew and Mark; []
    • 2012, Simon Gathercole, The Composition of the Gospel of Thomas, →ISBN:
      Finally, we can identify certain idioms clearly of Semitic origin, but which are not found in the Bible – one might term them post-biblical Semitisms.
  2. (uncountable, rare) Semitic character; Semiticness.
    • 1987, Martin Kramer, Shi'ism, resistance and revolution, page 22:
      In a Europe which was obsessed by race, some saw the division as one between Semites and Aryans, the Sunnis representing the Semitism of Arabian Islam, the Shi'a representing the upsurge of Aryan Iran.
    • 1998, Kanan Makiya, Republic of Fear: The Politics of Modern Iraq, →ISBN, page 264:
      Persian "Aryanism" and Arab "Semitism" are of course myths with a toehold on reality located somewhere in the origins of languages, not peoples.
    • 2013, Bernard Lewis, Islam in History, page 276:
      [] the Aryanism of Iran in generous revolt against the alien and constricting Semitism of Arabian Islam.
  3. (uncountable, rare) Judaism; Jewishness (especially when seen as the thing to which anti-Semitism is opposed).
    • 1990, Richard S. Geehr, Karl Lueger: Mayor of Fin de Siècle Vienna, →ISBN, page 308:
      [] a racist coloration through the inclusion of another remark of Albert Gessmann: when the more radical nationalists fell silent a merger of all Aryans against the common danger of Semitism will be the next consequence.
    • 2005, Roderick Stackelberg, Hentschel, Willibald (1858–1947), in Antisemitism: A Historical Encyclopedia of Prejudice →ISBN
      Only a strong countermovement could prevent the triumph of Semitism all over the world. The urgent task for Germans was to overcome the Semitism within themselves, and racial hygiene was the means to this end.
    • 2007, Marius Turda, ‎Paul Weindling, "Blood and Homeland": Eugenics and Racial Nationalism in Central and Southeast Europe, 1900–1940 →ISBN:
      If the victory of Semitism meant the death of the nation, the reverse was also true: the triumph of the nation implied the elimination of the Semites. Why were Jews painted in such a negative light?


Related terms[edit]


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