mid-14c., "a Jew; one of the people of ancient Israel, a descendant of Israel or Jacob," from Latin israelita, from Greek Israelites, from Israel (see Israel). The Middle English adjective was Israelish (Old English Israelisc), sometimes Israelitish (Coverdale, 1530s); Israelitic (c. 1600, from Late Latin Israeliticus).
Old English Israel, "the Jewish people, the Hebrew nation," from Latin Israel, from Greek, from Hebrew yisra'el "he that striveth with God" (Genesis xxxii.28), symbolic proper name conferred on Jacob and extended to his descendants, from sara "he fought, contended" + El "God." As the name of an independent Jewish state in the Middle East, it is attested from 1948. Compare Israeli, Israelite.
late Old English, from Old French Ebreu, from Latin Hebraeus, from Greek Hebraios, from Aramaic (Semitic) 'ebhrai, corresponding to Hebrew 'ibhri "an Israelite." Traditionally from an ancestral name Eber, but probably literally "one from the other side," perhaps in reference to the River Euphrates, or perhaps simply signifying "immigrant;" from 'ebher "region on the other or opposite side." The initial H- was restored in English from 16c. As a noun from c. 1200, "the Hebrew language;" late 14c. in reference to persons, originally "a biblical Jew, Israelite."
"cataclysmic final conflict," 1811, figurative use of the place-name in Revelation xvi.16, the site of the great and final conflict, from Hebrew Har Megiddon "Mount of Megiddo," a city in central Palestine, site of important Israelite battles.
masc. proper name, name of an Israelite judge and warrior [Judges vi:11-viii:25], from Hebrew Gidh'on, literally "feller," from stem of gadha "he cut off, hewed, felled." In reference to the Bible propagation society, 1906, formally Christian Commercial Young Men's Association of America, founded 1899. The hotel room Gideon Bible so called by 1922.
native or inhabitant of Afghanistan, 1784, properly only the Durani Afghans; a name of uncertain origin. It is first attested in Arabic in al-'Utbi's "History of Sultan Mahmud" written c.1030 C.E. and was in use in India from 13c. Old Afghan chronicles trace the name to a legendary Afghana, son of Jeremiah, son of Israelite King Saul, from whom they claimed descent.
In English, attested from 1833 as a type of blanket or wrap (short for Afghan shawl); by 1877 as a type of carpet; by 1895 as a breed of hunting dog; by 1973 as a style of sheepskin coat.