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From Yiddish יאָרצײַט(yortsayt). Cognate to German Jahreszeit (season), which heavily influenced the spelling and pronunciation once the word was borrowed into English.



yahrzeit (plural yahrzeits)

  1. (Judaism) The anniversary of a person's death, often of a parent's.
    • 1892 February, “The Jews in New York--II.”, in The Century Magazine[1], volume 43, number 4, page 516:
      "Yahrzeit" (year's time) is the anniversary of the parent's death.
    • 1930 August 1, Leon Spitz, “Tisha b'Ab-The Yahrzeit of Every Jew”, in The Canadian Jewish Chronicle[2], page 1:
      Sad to say, the Yahrzeit of every-Jew is fading away from the memory of the average Jew in America.
    • 2002 September 2, Leon Wieseltier, “A Year Later”, in The New Republic[3]:
      The yahrzeit is here, and the least lachrymose country on earth is devising its rituals of commemoration.
    • 2016 August 10, Irwin Cohen, “Hank Greenberg’s 30th Yahrzeit”, in The Jewish Press[4]:
      Let’s remember Hank Greenberg’s yahrzeit, the 30th of Av, which falls this year on Sept. 3.

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