Anti-Semitic Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It

Do you know the meaning of anti-semitic? This guide will provide you with anti-semitic’s definition, origin, synonyms, and more.

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Anti-semitism is known as “history’s oldest hatred,” but where did the term come from? Read on to discover everything you need to know about anti-semitism, including its definition, origin, and more. 

What Is the Definition of Anti-Semitic?

Anti-semitic refers to discrimination towards Jewish people. The adjective anti-semitic refers to the discrimination and feeling of hostility against Jewish people as a racial, ethnic or cultural group. 

The most extreme example of anti-semitism is The Nazi Holocaust, but that is not where anti-semitism began. Though the term was not coined until much later, anti-semitic attitudes can be dated back to ancient times. 

Early Zionist pioneer Leon Pinsker was not a fan of the term anti-semitism or the use of the word anti-semitic. Instead, he tried to popularize the use of the word judeophobia.

Anti-Semitic Attitudes Throughout History

During the Middle Ages, many Jewish people were forced to live in ghettos throughout most of Europe after they were denied citizenship. Anti-Jewish riots called pogroms spread like wildfire across the Russian Empire during the early twentieth and nineteenth centuries. 

Some historians even believe that as long as there has been a Jewish history, there has been hostility towards Jewish people. Originating from the ancient kingdom of Judea, Jewish people were often persecuted or criticized by the Ancient empires of Greece, Rome, and Babylonia. 

Throughout history, Jewish people have often been punished and relentlessly criticized merely for their efforts to remain a religious and social group. The Jewish people aimed to remain a group that refused to adopt the way of life and views of non-Jewish societies — and for this, they have been persecuted from the days of the bible until the Roman Empire.  

What Is the Etymology of Anti-Semitic?

The word origin of anti-semitic begins from 1879 to 1881. The word of the day was first used by German race-agitator, nationalist, and radical Wilhelm Marr as a word to describe hostility and hatred toward Jewish people.

What Is the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance?

In 1998, the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance, and Research (or ITF) was founded by former Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson.

In 2013, they would change their names to the The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). 

This alliance is an intergovernmental organization with members from 34 countries, seven observer countries, and one liaison country. These countries work together to advance, promote, and strengthen Holocaust research, remembrance, and education worldwide. 

Not only that, but they also strive to uphold the commitments of its founding documents from the Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust.

Synonyms and Antonyms of Anti-Semitic

Although there are not too many, we put together a list of synonyms and antonyms to help further your understanding of anti-semitic. 


  • Bigoted
  • Prejudiced
  • Intolerant
  • Xenophobic
  • Chauvinistic


  • Benevolent
  • Candid
  • Blameless
  • Aboveboard
  • Civil
  • Decent
  • Courteous
  • Receptive

How Can You Use Anti-Semitic in a Sentence?

Now that you understand the meaning of anti-semitic, it’s time to put your newfound knowledge to the test. Take a few minutes to come up with as many sentences as you can that properly use our word of the day. 

If you need some help to get started, feel free to check out our usage examples listed below:

When Jewish families started to move into the exclusive neighborhood, some of them were greeted with anti-semitism from racist neighbors.

John attempted to hide his anti-semitism towards Jewish people by making crude jokes.

It is quite sad to see holocaust denial and other antisemitic teachings in today’s society.”

They say the ghost of anti-semitism still haunts certain places in Europe due to their old hatred of Jewish people.

It doesn’t matter if you’re from Germany or Israel, antisemitism is never OK as it clashes with basic civil rights and is downright evil.

Nazi anti-semitism forced the Jewish family to relocate to the United States of America.

Unfortunately, antisemitism didn’t end with the Holocaust as it’s still a global problem today.

A classic example of antisemitic behavior includes Hitler’s plot to destroy the Jewish people and take over the world.

Stand up for your fellow Jewish friends and fight back against anti-semitism!


Anti-semitic and antisemitism reference being hostile towards Jewish people simply because they are Jewish. Commonly seen in the form of religious teachings proclaiming how inferior they believe Jews to be, antisemitism goes back to the biblical days when Jewish people were seen as outsiders. 

In short, Jewish people are not a race — and categorizing people in such a way is not only wrong on so many levels but dangerous. Even so, some intolerant folks still believe in the concept. If it’s the root of their hatred of the Jewish people, it’s absolutely racism.  


  1. Defining Anti-Semitism | United States Department of State 
  2. Anti-semitic Definition & Meaning | Dictionary
  3. Anti-Semitic definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary