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n. pl. ter·a·phim (-ə-fĭm)
A small image or idol representing an ancient Semitic household god.
[Back-formation from pl. teraphim, from Hebrew tərāpîm, household gods, perhaps pl. of *terep, tarp-*tarp-, household god, perhaps of Anatolian origin and akin to Luwian tarpalli-, ritual substitute ("one stepping in another's place, thing taking another's place"), and tarpa-, to tread, step on; akin to Greek trapein, to tread grapes, and Lithuanian trepenti, to stamp.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
n, pl -aphim (-əfɪm)
(Bible) Old Testament any of various small household gods or images venerated by ancient Semitic peoples. (Genesis 31:19–21; I Samuel 19:13–16)
[C14: from Hebrew, of uncertain origin]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
n., pl. -a•phim (-ə fɪm)
an idol or image revered by the ancient Hebrews and kindred peoples, apparently as a household god.
[1350–1400; Middle English theraphym < Late Latin < Greek < Hebrew tərāphīm]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.