Definition of dreidel in English:

dreidel

Pronunciation /ˈdrādl/ /ˈdreɪdl/

noun

  • 1A small four-sided spinning top with a Hebrew letter on each side, used in a children's game traditionally played at the Jewish festival of Hanukkah.

    ‘Schools planning ‘holiday season’ programs have been instructed to not include any icons or images in their pamphlets or concert programs that might be construed as religious symbols; for example, Christmas trees or dreidels.’
    • ‘The holidays are rich with traditions, from exchanging gifts and spinning dreidels to more personalized rituals like sharing family recipes and lending a helping hand at local shelters.’
    • ‘Sleigh bells are ringing, dreidels are spinning, and your two-week vacation is just around the corner.’
    • ‘One year I will get too frustrated and start sending everyone cards with dreidels on them.’
    • ‘Jane wiped her watering eyes and turned to look at the spinning dreidel.’
    1. 1.1The children's game played with a dreidel.
      ‘We celebrate Hannukah by playing dreidel - gambling, basically - for gelt, which is coin-shaped chocolate.’
      • ‘Foil-wrapped chocolate coins called Hanukkah Gelt are given as gifts and are also the prize in a children's game called dreidel.’
      • ‘We'd go over to an aunt's house, play dreidel and then on each night of Hanukkah, there'd be all the presents in the living room.’
      • ‘Again, playing dreidel for money is not the same as gambling in a casino.’

Origin

From Yiddish dreydl; compare with German drehen ‘to turn’.