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Definition

Shibboleth

Shibboleth is a Hebrew word whose pronunciation was used by one of the ancient tribes of Israel as a password and is used now to denote evidence of one's being 'in the know' or belonging to an 'in' group.

Webster Dictionary Meaning

1. Shibboleth
- A word which was made the criterion by which to distinguish the Ephraimites from the Gileadites. The Ephraimites, not being able to pronounce sh, called the word sibboleth. See Judges xii.
- Also in an extended sense.
- Hence, the criterion, test, or watchword of a party; a party cry or pet phrase.
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