Abarim Publications' online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary
The verb צער (sa'ar) means to be or grow insignificant or small, and is comparable with the verb קטן (qaton), which means to be small or insignificant. Our verb צער (sa'ar) occurs in several other Semitic languages with similar meanings, but is used a mere three times in the Bible: Job 14:21, Jeremiah 30:19 and Zechariah 13:7. Its derivatives occur more often:
- The adjective צעיר (sa'ir), meaning either small (Daniel 8:9, Psalm 119:141) or young, younger or youngest (Genesis 19:31, Joshua 6:26, Judges 6:15, Job 30:1).
- The feminine noun צעירה (se'ira), meaning youth (one's early years; Genesis 43:33, or a young or subservient person: Jeremiah 14:3 and 48:4)
- The masculine noun מצער (mis'ar), meaning a place or agent of smallness; a small town (Genesis 19:20), one's humble beginnings (Job 8:7), a few men (2 Chronicles 24:24), or a little while (Isaiah 63:18).