Meaning of aleph in English:


Pronunciation /ˈɑːlɛf/


  • The first letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

    ‘Lamentations 3 is an acrostic on the Hebrew alphabet, each letter given three lines: three alephs, three beths, three gimmels, and so on.’
    • ‘So God compensates him by making the aleph the first letter of the word for God.’
    • ‘In another classic instance of more-is-less, Prior, who was jolted by a sudden vision of a neon aleph in Part I, is now shown the better part of the Hebrew alphabet.’
    • ‘Similarly, it is customary to write Yehudah with an aleph rather than a final hey, lest one accidentally leave out the letter dalet and write the Tetragrammaton.’
    • ‘In Hebrew, Adam is spelled using the same letters as the word me'od ‘- mem, aleph, daled - but in different sequence: aleph, daled, mem.’’


Middle English from Hebrew 'ālep̱, literally ‘ox’ (the character in Phoenician and ancient Hebrew possibly being derived from a hieroglyph of an ox's head).