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8 Words That Are Older Than You Think

Arab

[ar-uh b] /ˈær əb/
noun
1.
a member of a Semitic people inhabiting Arabia and other countries of the Middle East.
2.
a member of any Arabic-speaking people.
4.
Also called Arabber [ey-rab-er] /ˈeɪˌræb ər/ (Show IPA). Sometimes Offensive. a street peddler.
5.
Archaic: Sometimes Offensive. street arab.
adjective
6.
of or pertaining to Arabs.
7.
8.
Origin
1625-1635
1625-35; back formation from Latin Arabs (taken as plural) < Greek Áraps Arabian, an Arabian or Arab
Related forms
anti-Arab, adjective, noun
non-Arab, noun, adjective
pro-Arab, adjective
Usage note
The meanings “street peddler” and “vagabond” (in this second sense, also called a street arab) are sometimes perceived as insulting because of their reference to the historically nomadic peoples of the Arabian peninsula. The meaning “vagabond” has fallen into disuse. However, street vendors in Baltimore, Maryland are called Arabs; in fact, it is a self-referential term—that is, one used by the vendors themselves.
Pronunciation note
The pronunciation of Arab as [ey-rab] /ˈeɪˌræb/ (Show IPA) with an initial [ey] /eɪ/ sound and secondary stress on the second syllable, is sometimes used facetiously or disparagingly. It is especially common in the street-peddler and street-arab senses and is usually considered offensive in any sense.

Arab.

1.
2.
3.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for Arab

Arab

noun
1.
a member of a Semitic people originally inhabiting Arabia, who spread throughout the Middle East, N Africa, and Spain during the seventh and eighth centuries ad
2.
a lively intelligent breed of horse, mainly used for riding
3.
(modifier) of or relating to the Arabs: the Arab nations
Word Origin
C14: from Latin Arabs, from Greek Araps, from Arabic `Arab
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Arab
n.

late 14c. (Arabes, a plural form), from Old French Arabi, from Latin Arabs (accusative Arabem), from Greek Araps (genitive Arabos), from Arabic 'arab, indigenous name of the people, perhaps literally "inhabitant of the desert" and related to Hebrew arabha "desert." Meaning "homeless little wanderer, child of the street" is from 1848 (originally Arab of the city), in reference to nomadic ways. Arab League formed in Cairo, March 22, 1945.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Related Abbreviations for Arab

Arab.

  1. Arabia
  2. Arabian
  3. Arabic
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Arab in the Bible

ambush, a city in the mountains of Judah (Josh. 15:52), now Er-Rabiyeh.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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