shibboleth definition, meaning - what is shibboleth in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

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English definition of “shibboleth”

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shibboleth

noun [C] uk   us   /ˈʃɪb.əl.eθ/
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. 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 group
(Definition of shibboleth from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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