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English definition of “shibboleth”

shibboleth

noun [C] uk   /ˈʃɪb.əl.eθ/ us  
formal a belief or custom that is not now considered as important and correct as it was in the past: They still cling to many of the old shibboleths of education.Religious beliefs and atheistic beliefs a word, phrase, custom, etc. only known to a particular group of people, which you can use to prove to them that you are a real member of that groupForms of languages and specialist dialects
(Definition of shibboleth from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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