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From Middle English sabat, sabbat, sabath, from Old English sabat and Old French sabbat, both from Latin sabbatum, from Ancient Greek σάββατον (sábbaton, Sabbath), from Hebrew שַׁבָּת(shabát, Sabbath),[1][2] with the spelling ending in -th, probably influenced by the traditional transliteration of the Hebrew as shabbāth, being attested since the 14th century and widespread since the 16th.[3] Doublet of Shabbat. Possibly from the Sumerian sa-bat ("mid-rest")[4]


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˈsæbəθ/
  • (file)


Sabbath (plural Sabbaths)

  1. Saturday, observed in Judaism and some Christian denominations as a day of rest and worship.
  2. Sunday, observed in most of Christianity as a day of rest and worship.
  3. A meeting of witches. (Also called a witches' Sabbath, Shabbat, sabbat, or black Sabbath.)
    • 1936, Rollo Ahmed, The Black Art, London: Long, page 112:
      Witches always anointed themselves with ointments before departing up the chimney to their Sabbaths. One such ointment was composed of Aconite, Belladonna, Water Parsley, Cinquefoil and Babies' Fat.
    • 1971, Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic, Folio Society 2012, page 419:
      Around this conception was built up the notion of ritual devil-worship, involving the sabbath or nocturnal meeting at which the witches gathered to worship their master and to copulate with him.
  4. (historical) Among the ancient Jews and Hebrews, the seventh year, when the land was left fallow.
    Synonym: Sabbath year
  5. (Buddhism, Myanmar) uposatha day

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  1. ^ Sabbath”, in Unabridged,, LLC, 1995–present.
  2. ^ Sabbath”, in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
  3. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2022), “Sabbath”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.
  4. ^ Pinches, T.G. (1919), “Sabbath (Babylonian)”, in Hastings, James, editor, Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, Selbie, John A., contrib, Charles Scribner's Sons, pages 889–891