shibboleth [ shib-uh-lith, ‐leth ]
1. a peculiarity of pronunciation, behavior, mode of dress, etc., that distinguishes a particular class or set of persons.
2. a slogan; catchword.
3. a common saying or belief with little current meaning or truth.
WORDS RELATED TO SHIBBOLETH
saying, truism, practice, custom, catchword, watchword, phrase, password
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Origin: < Hebrew shibbōleth literally, freshet, a word used by the Gileadites as a test to detect the fleeing Ephraimites, who could not pronounce the sound sh (Judges 12:4–6)
EXAMPLE SENTENCES FROM THE WEB FOR SHIBBOLETH
Herzog was never just a novel; from the beginning it was a symbol, a crucible, a shibboleth.
AMERICAN DREAMS: SAUL BELLOW’S MASTERPIECE OF LAMENTATION|NATHANIEL RICH|JULY 27, 2014|DAILY BEAST
In all large towns a few of this complexion may be found; and in Preston odd ones exist whose shibboleth is “Christian Brethren.”
OUR CHURCHES AND CHAPELS|ATTICUS
And the Spaniard, as he uttered this emphatic shibboleth, gnashed his teeth with vexation.
THE TIGER HUNTER|MAYNE REID
Why is a gentleman of property to be kept out in the cold by some O'Mullins because he will not mutter an unmeaning shibboleth?
THE PRIME MINISTER|ANTHONY TROLLOPE
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