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May 23, 2013

how to say "background" in Hebrew

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The word background in English might refer to the visual background of an image or the conceptual background of someone's past.

So too in Hebrew.

The Hebrew word for background is רֶקַע.

For example:

כְּכָל הַנִּרְאֶה, נַחַל עוֹבֵר בָּרֶקַע שֶׁל הַמּוֹנָה לִיזָה.
It appears that a riverbed passes through the background of the Mona Lisa.


הִיא בָּאָה מֵרֶקַע דָּתִי.
She comes from a religious background.

רקע comes from the Biblical active-simple פָּעַל verb לִרְקֹעַ, meaning to stamp out or to spread out. It's related to the word for firmament, רָקִיעַ.

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