Pronunciation: (hē'brOO), [key]
1. a member of the Semitic peoples inhabiting ancient Palestine and claiming descent from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; an Israelite.
2. a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic family, the language of the ancient Hebrews, which, although not in a vernacular use from 100 b.c. to the 20th century, was retained as the scholarly and liturgical language of Jews and is now the national language of Israel. Abbr.: Heb
2. noting or pertaining to the script developed from the Aramaic and early Hebraic alphabets, used since about the 3rd century b.c. for the writing of Hebrew, and later for Yiddish, Ladino, and other languages.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.