What does Joseph mean?

Definitions for Joseph
ˈdʒoʊ zəf, -səfjoseph

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word Joseph.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. Joseph, Chief Josephnoun

    leader of the Nez Perce in their retreat from United States troops (1840-1904)

  2. Josephnoun

    (Old Testament) the 11th son of Jacob and one of the 12 patriarchs of Israel; Jacob gave Joseph a coat of many colors, which made his brothers jealous and they sold him into slavery in Egypt

  3. Josephnoun

    (New Testament) husband of Mary and (in Christian belief) the foster father of Jesus


  1. Josephnoun

    The husband of Virgin Mary in the New Testament.

  2. Josephnoun

    ; man who donated his own prepared tomb for the burial of Jesus.

  3. josephnoun

    A woman's riding habit worn in the 18th century with a long cape and buttons running down the front.

  4. Josephnoun

    Eleventh and favorite son of Jacob, by his wife Rachel.

  5. Josephnoun

    The husband of Virgin Mary.

  6. Josephnoun

    The 12th sura of the Qur'an.

  7. Josephnoun

    Joseph of Arimathea; man who donated his own prepared tomb for the burial of Jesus.

  8. Josephnoun

    A male given name from Hebrew

    I'm going to call him Joseph / or Josephine if it's a girl. / Why? / Because it's a strong name, / Joe, Joseph. / You give a kid a name like Cameron / or Alfred, or something like that, / and they end up wearing glasses / and looking at computers for the rest of their life. / - - - So Joe it is. / He'll turn out strong. Strong and smart.

  9. Josephnoun

    An English patronymic surname.

  10. Josephnoun

    A French patronymic surname.

  11. Josephnoun

    A locale in the United States. A city in Oregon; named for Nez Perce chief Hinmatóowyalahtq̓it. A town in Utah; named for Mormon apostle Joseph Angell Young. A ghost town in Idaho; named for Hinmatóowyalahtq̓it.

  12. Etymology: Old Testament Hebrew יוֹסֵף (Yoséf, " (God) shall add") ; a son of Jacob.


  1. Joseph

    Joseph is a common masculine given name, derived from the Hebrew Yosef. The form "Joseph" is used mostly in English, French and partially German-speaking (alongside "Josef") countries. This spelling is also found as a variant in the Nordic countries. In Portuguese and Spanish, the name is "José". In Arabic, including in the Quran, the name is spelled يوسف Yūsuf. In Persian, the name is "Yousef". The name has enjoyed significant popularity in its many forms in numerous countries, and Joseph was one of the two names, along with Robert, to have remained in the top 10 boys' names list in the US from 1925 to 1972. It is especially common in contemporary Israel, as either "Yossi" or "Yossef", and in Italy, where the name "Giuseppe" was the most common male name in the 20th century. In the first century CE, Joseph was the second most popular male name for Palestine Jews.In the Book of Genesis Joseph is Jacob's eleventh son and Rachel's first son, and known in the Hebrew Bible as Yossef ben-Yaakov. In the New Testament the most notable two are Joseph, the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus; and Joseph of Arimathea, a secret disciple of Jesus who supplied the tomb in which Jesus was buried.


  1. joseph

    Joseph is a traditionally masculine name with Hebrew origins, meaning "he will add". In the context of religious texts, Joseph is a significant figure in both the Bible and the Quran, known for his coat of many colors and his rise to become a powerful figure in Egypt. The name may also refer to any number of individuals named Joseph in both historical and contemporary contexts.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Josephnoun

    an outer garment worn in the 18th century; esp., a woman's riding habit, buttoned down the front


  1. Joseph

    Joseph is an important person in the Hebrew Bible and in the Quran, where he connects the story of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in Canaan to the subsequent story of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. The Book of Genesis tells that Joseph was the 11th of Jacob's 12 sons and Rachel's firstborn, and tells how Joseph came to be sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, and rose to become the second most powerful man in Egypt next to Pharaoh. When famine struck Egypt, Jacob and Joseph's brothers came to the Land of Goshen in Egypt.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Joseph

    jō′zef, n. one whose chastity is above temptation—from the story of Joseph and Potiphar's wife in Gen. xxxix.: a caped overcoat worn by women in the 18th century for riding—in allusion to Joseph's coat, Gen. xxxvii. 3.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Joseph

    the name of four persons in Scripture. 1, Joseph, the son of Jacob and Rachel, and the story of whose life is given in Genesis. 2, Joseph, St. the carpenter, the husband of the Virgin Mary and the reputed father of Jesus. 3, Joseph Of Aramathea, a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin, who begged the body of Jesus to bury it in his own tomb. 4, Joseph, surnamed Barsabas, one of the disciples of Jesus, and deemed worthy to be nominated to fill the place vacated by Judas.

Suggested Resources

  1. joseph

    Song lyrics by joseph -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by joseph on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Joseph is ranked #313 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Joseph surname appeared 100,959 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 34 would have the surname Joseph.

    54.1% or 54,710 total occurrences were Black.
    29.5% or 29,874 total occurrences were White.
    9.7% or 9,854 total occurrences were Asian.
    2.9% or 3,009 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    2.4% or 2,514 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.9% or 999 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Joseph' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3256

How to pronounce Joseph?

How to say Joseph in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Joseph in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Joseph in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of Joseph in a Sentence

  1. Kaitlyn Sinnamon:

    When we brought Joseph Turek home, Joseph Turek couldn't even hold Joseph Turek head up. We had to carry Joseph Turek around like a newborn baby, and now Joseph Turek's walking around the house and laughing and playing with Joseph Turek sister on the floor, if you looked at him now, you would have no idea that he went through everything that he went through.

  2. Cat Ellington:

    Honestly, if I weren’t married to Joseph Strickland, I would most definitely be married to Jesse L. Martin.

  3. Sally Yates:

    I feel a real responsibility to bring mental illness out of the shadows so that people will feel more comfortable reaching out for the help that they need with this illness, i know with Joseph Axelrod, that's a big part of why Joseph Axelrod wasn't comfortable seeking help. Joseph Axelrod was worried about the stigma. Joseph Axelrod had been Joseph Axelrod. Joseph Axelrod was worried about what people would think. Now,( that was) the mid-80s, and I think we're in a somewhat better place now -- but not where we should be.

  4. Joseph Strickland:

    Spike Lee was the voice depicting the ills of social issues. Joseph Strickland will depict the spiritual issues (or ills) from within.

  5. Rebecca Cabrera:

    It was something that Willy Joseph believed in Willy Joseph heart, that was the right thing. Willy Joseph was the type of man who always stepped up when everybody else stepped back, and there were a lot of men who were like that that were with Willy Joseph.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for Joseph

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    a confused multitude of things
    • A. hunch
    • B. encumbrance
    • C. arborolatry
    • D. muddle

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