Pronunciation: (mak'u-bēz"), [key]
1. (used with a pl. v.) the members of the Hasmonean family of Jewish leaders and rulers comprising the sons of Mattathias and their descendants and reigning in Judea from 167? to 37b.c.,esp. Judas Maccabaeus and his brothers, who defeated the Syrians under Antiochus IV in 165? and rededicated the Temple in Jerusalem.
2. (used with a sing. v.) either of two books of the Apocrypha, I Maccabees or II Maccabees, that contain the history of the Maccabees.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.