Definition of shtetl in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈʃtɛt(ə)l/

noun (plural shtetlach /ˈʃtɛtlɑːx/ or shtetls)

A small Jewish town or village in eastern Europe: a small shtetl in Belarus where Jay’s ancestors lived [as modifier]: childhood was shtetl life transplanted, Brooklyn coloured by Old World reverberations figurative the transformation of gay literature, its emergence from the shtetl, continues apace
More example sentences
  • These early Zionist leaders knew of course that religion had preserved Jewish identity in the ghettos and shtetls of Europe, but in the modern Jewish state, they felt there would be no need for it.
  • The film deals with the discovery by a German cabaret agent of a strong man working as a blacksmith in a Jewish shtetl in eastern Poland.
  • Born in the busy Russian port of Odessa on the Black Sea in 1894, Babel grew up in a shtetl, a Jewish village.


Yiddish, 'little town'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: shtetl

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