Pronunciation: ( Seph.bet' shä-mī'), [key] Hebrew.
the school of Jewish legal thought and hermeneutics founded in Jerusalem in the 1st century b.c. by the Jewish teacher Shammai and characterized by an austere or rigid interpretation of Jewish law and tradition. Cf. Beth Hillel.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.