1. a sacred area or sanctuary. Gen. 28:19.
  2. a church or hostel for sailors.


  1. a village in W Jordan, near Jerusalem; occupied by Israel since 1967: site of Jacob’s dream. Gen. 28:19.
  2. a town in SW Connecticut.


  1. an ancient town in the West Bank, near Jerusalem: in the Old Testament, the place where the dream of Jacob occurred (Genesis 28:19)
  2. a chapel of any of certain Nonconformist Christian sects
  3. a seamen’s chapel

1610s, “a place where God is worshipped,” from Hebrew beth El “house of God,” from beth, construct state of bayit “house.” Popular as a name for religious meeting houses among some Protestant denominations. Beth also was the name of the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet, so called for its shape, and was borrowed into Greek as beta.

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