Definitions for: Shibboleth

[n] a manner of speaking that is distinctive of a particular group of people
[n] a favorite saying of a sect or political group

Webster (1913) Definition: Shib"bo*leth, n. [Heb. shibb[=o]leth an ear of
corn, or a stream, a flood.]
1. A word which was made the criterion by which to
distinguish the Ephraimites from the Gileadites. The
Ephraimites, not being able to pronounce sh, called the
word sibboleth. See --Judges xii.

Without reprieve, adjudged to death, For want of
well pronouncing shibboleth. --Milton.
Also in an extended sense.

The th, with its twofold value, is . . . the
shibboleth of foreigners. --Earle.

2. Hence, the criterion, test, or watchword of a party; a
party cry or pet phrase.

Synonyms: catchword, motto, slogan

See Also: battle cry, catch phrase, catchphrase, cry, delivery, expression, locution, manner of speaking, rallying cry, saying, speech, war cry

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