Tsade: Wikis

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Pe               Tsade               Qoph
Phoenician Hebrew Aramaic Syriac Arabic
Tsade צ,ץ Tsade ܨ ﺻ,ﺹ
Greek Latin Cyrillic
Ϻ Ϡ - Ц, Ч
Phonemic representation:
Position in alphabet: 18
Numerical (Gematria/Abjad) value: 90

Tsade (also spelled Ṣādē or Tzadi or Sadhe or Tzaddik or Cade) is the eighteenth letter in many Semitic abjads, including Phoenician, Aramaic, Hebrew Tsadi צ and Arabic Ṣād . Its oldest sound value is probably IPA: [sˤ], although there is a variety of pronunciation in different modern Semitic languages and their dialects. It represents the coalescence of three Proto-Semitic "emphatic consonants" in Canaanite. Arabic, which kept the phonemes separate, introduced variants of ṣād and ṭāʼ to express the three (see ḍād, ẓāʼ). In Aramaic, these emphatic consonants coalesced instead with ʻayin and ṭēt, respectively, thus Hebrew ereẓ ארץ (earth) is arʻāʼ ארע in Aramaic.

The Phoenician letter is continued in the Greek Sampi Ϡ , and San Ϻ and in Etruscan 𐌑 Ś. It may have inspired the form of the letter Tse in the Glagolitic alphabet.

The corresponding letter of the Ugaritic alphabet is 𐎕 ṣade.

Hebrew speakers sometimes mis-label this letter Tsadiq (meaning "righteous person"; see Tzadik), though this use probably originated from a fast recitation of the alphabet (i.e., "tsadi, qoph" -> "tsadiq, qoph").



Phoenician alphabet
(ca. 1050–200 BCE)
𐤀    𐤁    𐤂    𐤃    𐤄    𐤅
𐤆    𐤇    𐤈    𐤉    𐤊    𐤋
𐤌    𐤍    𐤎    𐤏    𐤐
𐤑    𐤒    𐤓    𐤔    𐤕
Semitic abjads · Genealogy
Hebrew alphabet
(400 BCE–present)
א    ב    ג    ד    ה    ו
ז    ח    ט    י    כך
ל    מם    נן    ס    ע    פף
צץ    ק    ר    ש    ת
History · Transliteration
Niqqud · Dagesh · Gematria
Cantillation · Numeration
Syriac alphabet
(200 BCE–present)
ܐ    ܒ    ܓ    ܕ    ܗ    ܘ
ܙ    ܚ    ܛ    ܝ    ܟܟ    ܠ
ܡܡ    ܢܢ    ܣ    ܥ    ܦ
ܨ    ܩ    ܪ    ܫ    ܬ
Arabic alphabet
(400 CE–present)
ا    ب    ت    ث    ج    ح
خ    د    ذ    ر    ز    س
ش    ص    ض    ط    ظ    ع
غ    ف    ق    ك    ل
م    ن    ه    و    ي
History · Transliteration
Diacritics · Hamza ء
Numerals · Numeration

The origin of Tsade is unclear. It may have come from a Middle Bronze Age glyph based on a pictogram of a plant, perhaps a papyrus plant, or a fish hook (in Modern Hebrew, "tsad" means "[he] hunt[ed]", and Arabic "sad" means "to fish" or "to hunt").

Hebrew Tsadi

Orthographic variants
Various Print Fonts Cursive
Serif Sans-serif Monospaced
non final צ צ צ Hebrew letter Tsadik handwriting.svg Hebrew letter Tsadik-nonfinal Rashi.png
final ץ ץ ץ Hebrew letter Tsadik-final handwriting.svg Hebrew letter Tsadik-final Rashi.png


The Tsade is sometimes mispronounced "Tsadik". It may also be spelled with a "z" instead of the "s" -- Tzade or Tzadik.


In modern Hebrew, Tsade represents a voiceless alveolar affricate (IPA: [/ts/]). This is the same in Yiddish language. Historically, it likely represented a pharyngealized /sˤ/; Yemenite Jews still pronounce it this way.

A geresh can also be placed after it (צ׳), giving it the IPA sound /tʃ/, e.g. צ׳יפּס tšips, meaning chips.


Tsade, like Kaph, Mem, Pe, and Nun, has a final form, used at the end of words. Its shape changes from this: צ to this: ץ. The pronunciation is not changed.


In gematria, Tsade represents the number 90. Its final form represents 900 but this is rarely used, Tav, Tav, and Kuf (400+400+100) being used instead.

As an abbreviation, it stands for tsafon, North.

Tsade is also one of the seven letters which receive a special crown (called tagin) when written in a Sefer Torah. See Shin, Ayin, Teth, Nun, Zayin, and Gimmel.

Arabic Ṣad

The letter is named ṣad; standard pronunciation: [sˤ]. It is written in several ways depending in its position in the word:

Position in word: Isolated Initial Medial Final
Form of letter: ص صـ ـصـ ـص

See also


Up to date as of January 15, 2010
(Redirected to sadhe article)

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Alternative spellings

  • sade, sadi, tsade, tsadi




sadhe (uncountable)

  1. The eighteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, ץ צ.


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