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Title: Dalet  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Phoenician alphabet, Geresh, Gimel, He (letter), Syriac alphabet
Collection: Arabic Letters, Hebrew Alphabet, Phoenician Alphabet
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


d, ð
Position in alphabet 4
Numerical value 4
Alphabetic derivatives of the Phoenician

Dalet (dāleth, also spelled Daleth or Daled) is the fourth letter of the Semitic abjads, including Phoenician Dālet , Hebrew 'Dālet ד, Aramaic Dālath , Syriac Dālaṯ ܕ, and Arabic Dāl د (in abjadi order; 8th in modern order). Its sound value is a voiced alveolar plosive ([d]).

The letter is based on a glyph of the Middle Bronze Age alphabets, probably called dalt "door" (door in Modern Hebrew is delet), ultimately based on a hieroglyph depicting a door,

The Phoenician letter gave rise to the Greek delta (Δ), Latin D and the equivalent in the Cyrillic Д.


  • Hebrew Dalet 1
    • Variations 1.1
    • Significance 1.2
  • Syriac Daled/Dolath 2
  • Arabic dāl 3
  • Character encodings 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Hebrew Dalet

Orthographic variants
Various print fonts Cursive
Serif Sans-serif Monospaced
ד ד ד

Hebrew spelling: דָּלֶת

The letter is dalet in the modern Israeli Hebrew pronunciation (see Tav (letter)). Dales is still used by many Ashkenazi Jews and daleth by some Jews of Middle-Eastern background, especially in the diaspora. In some academic circles, it is called daleth, following the Tiberian Hebrew pronunciation. It is also called daled. The ד like the English D represents a voiced alveolar stop. Just as in English, there may be subtle varieties of the sound that are created when it is spoken.


Dalet can receive a dagesh, being one of the 6 letters that can receive Dagesh Kal (see Gimel). There are minor variations to this letter's pronunciation, such as

In addition, in modern Hebrew, the combination ד׳ (dalet followed by a geresh) is used when transcribing foreign names to denote /ð/.


In gematria, dalet symbolizes the number four.

The letter dalet, along with the He (and very rarely Gimel) is used to represent the Names of God in Judaism. The letter He is used commonly, and the dalet is rarer. A good example is the keter (crown) of a tallit, which has the blessing for donning the tallit, and has the name of God usually represented by a dalet. A reason for this is that the He is used as an abbreviation for HaShem "The Name" and the dalet is used as a non-sacred way of referring to God.

Dalet as a prefix in Aramaic (the language of the Talmud) is a preposition meaning "that", or "which", or also "from" or "of"; since many Talmudic terms have found their way into Hebrew, one can hear dalet as a prefix in many phrases (as in Mitzvah Doraitah; a mitzvah from the Torah.)

in modern Hebrew the frequency of the usage of dalet, out of all the letters, is 2.59%.

Syriac Daled/Dolath

Madnḫaya Daled
Serṭo Dolath
Esṭrangela Dalath

In the Syriac alphabet, the fourth letter is ܕ — Dolath in western pronunciation, Dalath and Daled in eastern pronunciation (ܕܵܠܵܬ). It is one of six letters that represents two associated sounds (the others are Bet, Gimel, Kaph, Pe and Taw). When Daled/Dolath has a hard pronunciation (qûššāyâ) it is a [d]. When Dalad/Dolath has a soft pronunciation (rûkkāḵâ) it is traditionally pronounced as a [ð]. The letter is very common in Syriac as it is often attached to the beginning of words as the relative pronoun.

Daled/Dolath is always written with a point below it to distinguish it from the letter Resh (ܪ), which is identical apart from having a point above. As a numeral, Dalad/Dolath stands for the number four. With various systems of dots and dashes, it can also stand for 4,000 and 40,000.

Arabic dāl

The letter is named dāl, and is written is several ways depending in its position in the word:

Position in word: Isolated Final Medial Initial
Glyph form: د ـد ـد د

Character encodings

Character ד د ܕ
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 1491 U+05D3 1583 U+062F 1813 U+0715 2051 U+0803 8504 U+2138
UTF-8 215 147 D7 93 216 175 D8 AF 220 149 DC 95 224 160 131 E0 A0 83 226 132 184 E2 84 B8
Numeric character reference ד ד د د ܕ ܕ
Character ΄
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 66436 U+10384 67651 U+10843 67843 U+10903
UTF-8 240 144 142 132 F0 90 8E 84 240 144 161 131 F0 90 A1 83 240 144 164 131 F0 90 A4 83
UTF-16 55296 57220 D800 DF84 55298 56387 D802 DC43 55298 56579 D802 DD03
Numeric character reference 𐎄 𐎄 𐡃 𐡃 𐤃 𐤃


External links

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