• WordNet 3.6
    • n shekel the basic unit of money in Israel
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Shekel A jocose term for money.
    • Shekel An ancient weight and coin used by the Jews and by other nations of the same stock.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n shekel A unit of weight first used in Babylonia, and there equal to one sixtieth part of a mina. As there were two Assyrian minas, so there were two shekels, one of 17 grams (258 grains troy), the other of 8.4 grams (129 grains). A trade shekel had a weight of 8.2 grams (127 grains). Modified both in value and in its relation to the mina, the shekel was adopted by the Phenicians, Hebrews, and other peoples. There were many different Phenician shekels, varying through 15.2 grams (234 grains), 14.5 grams (224 grains), 14.1 grams (218 grains), down to 13.5 grams (208 grains). The Hebrew shekel, at least under the Maccabees, was 14.1 grams. See also siglos.
    • n shekel The chief silver coin of the Jews, probably first coined in 141 b. c. by Simon Maccabæus. Obverse, “Shekel of Israel,” pot of manna or a sacred vessel; reverse, “Jerusalem the holy,” flower device, supposed to be Aaron's rod budding. Specimens usually weigh from 212 to 220 grains. Half-shekels were also struck in silver at the same date.
    • n shekel plural Coins; coin; money.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Shekel shek′l a Jewish weight (about half-an-ounce avoirdupois) and coin (about 2s. 6d. sterling):
    • n Shekel shek′l (pl.) money (slang).
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Heb. shegel, fr. shāgal, to weigh
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Heb. from shāqal, to weigh.


In literature:

They will keep faith, and be ready even to fight for us if the odds are not too great, and the shekels are duly paid.
"In the Mahdi's Grasp" by George Manville Fenn
The shekel was the registry of a name.
"The Jewish State" by Theodor Herzl
It's he who goes out and rakes in the shekels, not you.
"The Creators" by May Sinclair
His estate consists much in shekels, and Roman coins; and he hath more pictures of Caesar, than James or Elizabeth.
"Microcosmography" by John Earle
Would he pile up shekels?
"Free Air" by Sinclair Lewis
Which has most to do with shekels to-day, the priests or the politicians?
"What I Saw in America" by G. K. Chesterton
I can hear the shekels chinking into our pockets this minute.
"Paul and the Printing Press" by Sara Ware Bassett
Strangers are not liked, and are only tolerated for the shekels that can be extracted or robbed from them.
"Due West" by Maturin Murray Ballou
What the hell, my dear Gorman, is the good of being a king when there are no shekels?
"The Island Mystery" by George A. Birmingham
Sickle, or shekel, as used by Shakspeare, 277.
"Notes and Queries, Index of Volume 5, January-June, 1852" by Various

In poetry:

Five talents, all of Ophir's purest gold,
These five fair caskets ranged before thee hold;
The first can show a few poor shekels' gain,
The rest unchanged remain.
"But One Talent" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
You think the Jews
Keep such things secret? Not a Jew but knows
Your debt exact--the sum and date of interest,
And that you visit Susskind, not for love,
But for his shekels.
"The Dance To Death. Act II" by Emma Lazarus
O hidden face of man, whereover
The years have woven a viewless veil,
If thou wast verily man's lover,
What did thy love or blood avail?
Thy blood the priests make poison of,
And in gold shekels coin thy love.
"Before A Crucifix" by Algernon Charles Swinburne
Ah, yes; why not? Is one more adventitious born
Than others--shekels richer, honors fuller, and all that--
That he can pass his fellows by with lofty scorn,
Nor even show this slight regard--the lifting of the hat?
"Be Courteous" by Hattie Howard

In news:

Shekels, moolah, simoleons, greenbacks, dinero—no matter what language or lingo you use, money is something you'll need by the basketful to tour the wine regions of the world.
The shares surged 4.3 percent, the most since Dec 25, to 2,210 shekels at the close in Tel Aviv.
The Finance Ministry sold a combined 1.55 billion shekels ($399 million) in bonds today, bringing this month's fundraising total to 6 billion shekels , according to ministry data posted on Bloomberg.
Palestinian officials think about replacing Israeli shekel with Palestine pound.
Hutchison Water to Spend 100 Million Shekels in Israel Incubator.
She'll be shelling out shekels by the seashore in Israel.
Strauss Profit Advances Even as Strong Shekel Hurts Sales.