from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • In the Bible, a prophet who was swallowed by a great fish and disgorged unharmed three days later.
  • n. See Table at Bible.
  • n. One thought to bring bad luck.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. A male given name.
  • proper n. A book of the Old Testament and the Hebrew Tanakh.
  • proper n. A person who brings a ship bad luck.
  • proper n. Any person or object which is deemed to cause bad luck; a jinx.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The Hebrew prophet, who was cast overboard as one who endangered the ship; hence, any person whose presence is unpropitious.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To play the part of a Jonah to; spoil the luck of; bring ill luck to.
  • n. A person on shipboard regarded as the cause of ill luck; any one whose presence is supposed or alleged to cause misfortune.
  • n. In games of chance, a player who can never win anything; a very unlucky person.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (Old Testament) Jonah did not wish to become a prophet so God caused a great storm to throw him overboard from a ship; he was saved by being swallowed by a whale that vomited him out onto dry land
  • n. a book in the Old Testament that tells the story of Jonah and the whale
  • n. a person believed to bring bad luck to those around him


Hebrew yônâ, dove; see ywn in Semitic roots.
After Jonah.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Hebrew יונה ("dove"). (Wiktionary)



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