Shtetl definition

shtĕtl, shtātl
A small Jewish town or village in Eastern Europe, especially before World War II.
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Any of the former Jewish village communities of E Europe, esp. in Russia.
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A Jewish village or small town, especially one in Eastern Europe.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
shtetl
Plural:
shtetlach, shtetls

Origin of shtetl

  • Yiddish from Middle High German stetel diminutive of stat town from Old High German place stā- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Yiddish שטעטל (shtetl, “small town, village"), from שטאָט (shtot, “city") (compare German Stadt), from Old High German stat, from Proto-Germanic *stadiz, from Proto-Indo-European *stéhâ‚‚tis.

    From Wiktionary