Klein Dictionary


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“This is an exceptionally valuable tool for all who work with Hebrew, even those with minimal knowledge of the language. For here are detailed etymologies of some 30,000 words and word forms – in an easy-to-use volume unique in scope and authority.

Prepared by the eminent language scholar and lexicographer Ernest Klein, this is a rich compendium of knowledge about the origin, derivations and variations of most Hebrew words. It traces the history of the language by identifying the way its vocabulary has change, in meaning and in usage, over the centuries.

In this dictionary, the vocabulary of the present-day Hebrew is covered thoroughly; also here are the Biblical, Mishnaic, and Rabbinic words that inform today’s language, as well as medieval words used in earlier periods but no longer in current use. Klein identifies borrowed or cognate words from Akkadian, Aramaic, Greek, Arabic and other languages that enriched the Hebrew vocabulary.

Each entry term includes a clear, concise, specific definition, as well as part of speech or linguistic stratum from which it comes. The various meanings of the entry terms are listed and numbered then follow the derivatives, most of which appear in a separate entrance in the book.

The dictionary features many useful aids to research, including guides for the translation of Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, and complete guides to abbreviations, symbols and reference sources used in the languages are transliterated and translated into English.” (Taken from the back cover.)


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