shtetl (shtĕtl, shtātl)
n. pl. shtetls or shtet·lach (-lä)
A small Jewish town or village in Eastern Europe, especially before World War II.
[Yiddish, from Middle High German stetel, diminutive of stat, town, from Old High German, place; see stā- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.