An engraving depicting a scene from the biblical story of Esther.Licensed from iStockPhoto
- a feminine name: var. Hester
- the Jewish wife of the Persian king Ahasuerus: she saved her people from slaughter by Haman
- the Old Testament book telling her story: abbrev. Esth, Es, Est
Origin: Ecclesiastical Late Latin Esthera ; from Ecclesiastical Greek Esthēr ; from Classical Hebrew (language) ester, probably ; from Persian sitareh, star ; from Indo-European base an unverified form ster-, star
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Origin: Hebrew estēr, from Persian sitareh, star; see ster-3 in Indo-European roots, or Akkadian Ištar, Ishtar; see Ishtar.
noun Abbr. Est. or Esth.
Origin: After Esther1.
Esther - Cultural Definition
A book of the Old Testament that tells the story of a beautiful Jewish woman named Esther who is chosen by the king of Persia (now Iran; see Persian Empire) to be his queen. Esther, with the aid of her cousin Mordecai, stops a plot to massacre the Jews (see also Jews) in Persia, and Mordecai becomes the king's chief minister.
- This event is celebrated by Jews as the feast of Purim.