either of two small, boxlike leather cases holding slips inscribed with certain Scriptural passages, fastened, using leather thongs, one to the forehead and the other to the arm, by Orthodox or Conservative Jewish men during weekday morning prayer: see Deut. 6:4-9: usually used in the pl., referring to the pair of cases containing the slips together with the straps
Origin of tefillinvariant, variety spelling, spelled of Classical Hebrew (language) tefilin: see phylactery
Origin of tefillinMishnaic Hebrew t&schwa;pillîn, pl. of t&schwa;pillâ, prayer, from Hebrew hitpall&emacron;l, to pray; see pll in Semitic roots.
- plural form of tefilla