Definition of Semite in English:

Semite

noun

  • A member of any of the peoples who speak or spoke a Semitic language, including in particular the Jews and Arabs.

    • ‘After the Bronze Age, Amorites, Western Semites, Hyksos and Hittites successively invaded the area.’
    • ‘Within the gaunt pinnacles, in colours that represent ores and igneous rock, Ancient Egyptians, Semites and Nabataeans have left evidence of passage.’
    • ‘Tradition associated her with Cyprus, where Greeks and Semites lived side by side from an early date, and the name Aphrodite is probably a Greek corruption of the Phoenician form of lshtar, Astarte (the Biblical Ashtaroth).’
    • ‘Ham represents Canaan and Shem (anticipating Israel) represents the Semites.’
    • ‘In his Lectures on the Religion of the Semites, W. Robertson Smith proposed that totemism was the basic form of sacrifice, in which the clan shed the blood of its totem animal, then consumed it in a communal meal.’
    • ‘The Semites were the first to inhabit the region in 3500 B.C.’
    • ‘In this case, one should work out what ‘heart’ meant to ancient Semites, not what it means in Hollywood pop-psychology.’
    • ‘The third column is the representation of the ages as decimal-counting Semites would have written them using the early rounded stylus.’
    • ‘And those of us who originally came from the region of the Holy Land, we're all Semites together.’
    • ‘Political unification did not come until about 2370 BC with the conquest by the Semites of Akkad.’
    • ‘He was a Middle Easterner, you know, and he was a Semite.’
    • ‘Of special interest to Bible students is one panel in the second row in which a bearded Semite bows before the king while his servants present gifts.’

Origin

From modern Latin Semita, via late Latin from Greek Sēm ‘Shem’, son of Noah in the Bible, from whom these peoples were traditionally supposed to be descended.

Pronunciation

Semite

/ˈsiːmʌɪt/ /ˈsɛmʌɪt/