- a city in and the capital of Israel: an ancient holy city and a center of pilgrimage for Jews, Christians, and Muslims; divided between Israel and Jordan 1948–67; Jordanian sector annexed by Israel 1967; capital of Israel since 1950.
- a republic in SW Asia, on the Mediterranean: formed as a Jewish state May 1948. 7984 sq. mi. (20,679 sq. km). Capital: Jerusalem.
- the people traditionally descended from Jacob; the Hebrew or Jewish people.
- a name given to Jacob after he had wrestled with the angel. Gen. 32:28.
- the northern kingdom of the Hebrews, including 10 of the 12 tribes, sometimes called by the name of the chief tribe, Ephraim. Capital: Samaria.
- a group considered by its members or by others as God’s chosen people.
- a male given name.
- the de facto capital of Israel (recognition of this has been withheld by the United Nations), situated in the Judaean hills: became capital of the Hebrew kingdom after its capture by David around 1000 bc; destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in 586 bc; taken by the Romans in 63 bc; devastated in 70 ad and 135 ad during the Jewish rebellions against Rome; fell to the Arabs in 637 and to the Seljuk Turks in 1071; ruled by Crusaders from 1099 to 1187 and by the Egyptians and Turks until conquered by the British (1917); centre of the British mandate of Palestine from 1920 to 1948, when the Arabs took the old city and the Jews held the new city; unified after the Six Day War (1967) under the Israelis; the holy city of Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Pop: 693 200 (2003 est)
- the New Jerusalem ChristianityHeaven
- any ideal city
- a republic in SW Asia, on the Mediterranean Sea: established in 1948, in the former British mandate of Palestine, as a primarily Jewish state; 8 disputes with Arab neighbours (who did not recognize the state of Israel), erupted into full-scale wars in 1948, 1956, 1967 (the Six Day War), and 1973 (the Yom Kippur War). In 1993 Israel agreed to grant autonomous status to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, according to the terms of a peace agreement with the PLO. Official languages: Hebrew and Arabic. Religion: Jewish majority, Muslim and Christian minorities. Currency: shekel. Capital: Jerusalem (international recognition withheld as East Jerusalem was annexed (1967) by Israel: UN recognized capital: Tel Aviv). Pop: 7 707 042 (2013 est). Area (including Golan Heights and East Jerusalem): 21 946 sq km (8473 sq miles)
- the ancient kingdom of the 12 Hebrew tribes at the SE end of the Mediterranean
- the kingdom in the N part of this region formed by the ten northern tribes of Israel in the 10th century bc and destroyed by the Assyrians in 721 bc
- informal the Jewish community throughout the world
holy city in ancient Palestine, from Greek Hierousalem, from Hebrew Yerushalayim, literally “foundation of peace,” from base of yarah “he threw, cast” + shalom “peace.” Jerusalem “artichoke” is folk etymology of Italian girasole “sunflower.”
Old English, “the Jewish people,” from Latin Israel, from Greek, from Hebrew yisra’el “he that striveth with God” (Gen. xxxii.28), symbolic proper name conferred on Jacob and extended to his descendants, from sara “he fought, contended” + El “God.” As an independent Jewish state in the country formerly called Palestine, it is attested from 1948.
A holy city for Jews (see also Jews), Christians (see also Christian), and Muslims; the capital of the ancient kingdom of Judah and of the modern state of Israel. The name means “city of peace.” Jerusalem is often called Zion; Mount Zion is the hill on which the fortress of the city was built.
The name given to Jacob after he wrestled with God. Israel is also the name of the northern kingdom of the Israelites, when their nation was split in two after the death of King Solomon. (See under “World Geography.”)
Republic in the Middle East, formerly part of Palestine. Israel is bordered by Lebanon to the north, Syria and Jordan to the east, the Gulf of Aqaba (an arm of the Red Sea) to the south, Egypt (see also Egypt) to the southwest, and the Mediterranean Sea to the west. Its capital and largest city is Jerusalem (see also Jerusalem).