Messiah, the

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Messiah, the the promised deliverer of the Jewish nation prophesied in the Hebrew Bible; Jesus regarded by Christians as the Messiah of the Hebrew prophecies and the saviour of humankind.

Recorded from Old English (in the form Messias), the name comes via late Latin and Greek from Hebrew māšīaḥ ‘anointed’.

From the mid 17th century, the word has developed a transferred use to denote an expected liberator or saviour of an oppressed people, country, or cause.