Mensch Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It

Ever wondered about the meaning of mensch? If so, you’re in the right place. Read on to discover what the definition of mensch is and more. 

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Do you know what the word mensch means? Not to worry, we’re here to help. 

In this article, you’ll find everything you need to know about the term mensch, including its definition, origin, synonyms, and antonyms. We’ll also go over a few examples to show you how to properly use mensch in a sentence. 

By the end of this post, you should have a clear understanding of what the term mensch means and feel comfortable using it as a part of your every day vocabulary. 

What Is the Definition of Mensch?

According to Collins’ English Dictionary, the noun mensch is defined as a human being who is held in high regard. This is an honorable and responsible individual. 

Diving deeper, the Yiddish term means a lot more than just that; it also identifies a person who is considerate as well as kind.

The noun is pronounced ˈmen(t)sh, and it can be characterized as a person who acts with humility. As one who always shows self-restraint, they are an individual who forever remains sensitive to the thoughts and feelings of others. 

What Is the Etymology of Mensch?

The Yiddish word mensch found its way into the English language as far back as the start of the 20th century. As is the case with most Yiddish words, mensch is a welcomed addition to English slang. 

Mensch’s use as a person of honor and strength was first noted in 1907, derived from the Yiddish/German mensch

How Can Mensch Be Used Properly in a Sentence?

While this Yiddish term may only have one true meaning, it can be used in many ways in the English language. 

Did you know that using words in a sentence is an outstanding way to memorize their definitions? Try using this Word of the Day in a sentence to better grasp its definition. 

Below, you will find various example sentences using the word mensch:

You really should take the higher road and be a mensch; send your ex a handwritten note letting them know you have tied the knot.

I am surprised it took her this long to realize it. She really is lucky to have such a mensch for a father.

At the end of the day,, he was a true mensch whose passion and life prove that it is possible to be both a responsible and caring adult as well as a model of artistic freedom.

He was a true earnest mensch, a hard worker, and a family man — truly everything you could hope for and demand of a sports hero.

You know, Dean has been a real mensch!

In an industry where it is known to produce its fair share of not-so-nice individuals, it was a true change of pace to see him emerge as a mensch.

You are nothing more than a petty thief; how dare you claim to be a mensch!

Sir, I truly appreciate your help; you are a gentleman, a scholar, a mensch true to the definition.

He really yearned to be a mensch; his one desire was to be a pillar of the community like his grandfather was before him.

Additional Yiddish Terms You Should Know

If you grew up in a Jewish household, then it’s likely you grew up using Yiddish words every day. However, if you are not part of The Tribe and don’t know your punims from your keppies, we can help you out with a few additional Yiddish terms outside of mensch. Which we guess makes us a real mensch, too!

Below we have included a list of the more well-known words of Yiddish origin:

  • Chutzpah – supreme self-confidence
  • Glitch – a usually minor malfunction
  • Plotz – verb means to collapse, crack or explode.
  • Keppie – forehead
  • Mishegas – (can alternatively be spelled mishegoss or meshugas) craziness, insanity, and silliness. 
  • Schmaltz – florid or sentimental music or art
  • Klutz – a person who often falls down, drops things, etc. (generally, a clumsy person)
  • Megillah – a long involved account or story
  • Bagel – a firm doughnut-shaped roll 
  • Bupkis – nothing
  • Oy Vey Ist Mir – an expression used to express frustration with a certain situation (more commonly known as the shorter “Oy Vey“)
  • Goy – someone who is not Jewish
  • -Nik – a person connected to an organization, a movement, an activity, etc.
  • Kvetch – to complain constantly and often
  • Meshuggeneh – an adjective to describe a person as insane, typically a crazy person
  • Kvell – used to indicate when a person is bursting with pride over the actions or accomplishments of another.
  • Zaftig – having a full or round figure, slightly fat in an attractive way.
  • Futz – fool around
  • Mishpocheh – (can also be spelled mispucha or mishpokhe) literally means family, but not synonymous with blood relatives 
  • Bubbe – grandmother 

A Final Word

Overall, a mensch is a really good person who you deeply care for and admire. 

You know that coworker who waits for you every day after work to give you a ride home even though you never ask them to? That coworker is a true example of a mensch!


  1. Mensch definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary
  2. What is another word for mensch? | Word Hippo
  3. Judaism 101: Who Is a Jew? | Judaism 101