- the test word used by the men of Gilead to distinguish the escaping Ephraimites, who pronounced the initial (?) as (s): Judg. 12:4-6
- any test word or password
- any phrase, custom, etc. distinctive of a particular party, class, etc.
Origin of shibbolethMiddle English sebolech, after Ecclesiastical Late Latin sciboleth from Classical Hebrew (language) shibolet, a stream: present tense meaning from the use of the word as a test word