[also in roman type] any of the former Jewish village communities of E Europe, esp. in Russia
Origin of shtetlYiddish, diminutive of shtot, city from Middle High German stat, city
nounpl. shtetls, or shtet·lach
A small Jewish town or village in Eastern Europe, especially before World War II.
Origin of shtetlYiddish from Middle High German stetel diminutive of stat town from Old High German place ; see stā- in Indo-European roots.