Hebrew Lexicography

C. Cohen, Y. Choueka

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Hebrew lexicography has its origins in the 10th century. The work of the earliest lexicographers, the most influential being probably David Kim. h-i (13th century), was confined to Biblical lexicography and was usually combined with treatises on Hebrew grammar. From the Renaissance onward until the end of the 18th century, Biblical lexicography was mostly developed by Christian scholars, and these works culminated in the masterpiece of William Genesius, re-edited and published in German in 1895 and in English in 1907. Talmudic lexicography began in the 11th century and culminated in the scholarly work of H-anoch Yehudah Kohut. The 19th century witnessed a revival of Jewish lexicography with the dictionaries of Yehudah Leib ben-Zeev, Shmuel Yosef Fünn, and Yehoshua Steinberg (1897). The revival of Hebrew as a spoken language in the 20th century radically changed the face of Hebrew lexicography, which was dominated until the 1950s by Eliezer ben Yehuda's monumental work, a comprehensive dictionary of Hebrew in its widest spectrum, particularly rich in citations from all strata of the language. Subsequently more modern dictionaries have appeared, the most famous one being that of Avraham Even-Shoshan. The specific problems of compiling Hebrew dictionaries, such as the nature of entries (roots or lemmas), vocalization, spelling, etc., as well as special topics such as bilingual dictionaries, computerized resources, and institutions related to Hebrew lexicography, are discussed in the full entry.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Language & Linguistics
PublisherElsevier Ltd.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9780080448541
StatePublished - 2006


  • Academy of the Hebrew Language
  • Biblical Dictionaries
  • Bilingual Dictionaries
  • Hebrew Dictionaries
  • Historical Dictionaries
  • Lemmas
  • Plene Spelling
  • Roots
  • Semitic Linguistics
  • Slang
  • Talmudic Dictionaries
  • Vocalization


Dive into the research topics of 'Hebrew Lexicography'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this