Saracen

Saracen

[sar-uh-suhn]
noun
1.
History/Historical. a member of any of the nomadic tribes on the Syrian borders of the Roman Empire.
2.
(in later use) an Arab.
3.
a Muslim, especially in the period of the Crusades.
adjective
4.
Also, Saracenic [sar-uh-sen-ik] , Saracenical. of or pertaining to the Saracens.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English, Old English < Medieval Latin Saracēnus < Late Greek Sarakēnós

Saracenism, noun
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World English Dictionary
Saracen (ˈsærəsən)
 
n
1.  history a member of one of the nomadic Arabic tribes, esp of the Syrian desert, that harassed the borders of the Roman Empire in that region
2.  a.  a Muslim, esp one who opposed the crusades
 b.  (in later use) any Arab
 
adj
3.  of or relating to Arabs of either of these periods, regions, or types
4.  designating, characterizing, or relating to Muslim art or architecture
 
[C13: from Old French Sarrazin, from Late Latin Saracēnus, from Late Greek Sarakēnos, perhaps from Arabic sharq sunrise, from shāraqa to rise]
 
Saracenic
 
adj
 
Sara'cenical
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

Saracen
O.E., "an Arab" (in Gk. and Roman translations), also, mid-13c., generally, "non-Christian, heathen, pagan," from O.Fr. saracin, from L.L. saracenus, from Gk. sarakenos, usually said to be from Arabic Sharquiyin, accusative plural of sharqiy "eastern," from sharq "east, sunrise," but this is not certain.
In Medieval times the name was associated with that of Biblical Sarah (q.v.).
"Peple þat cleped hem self Saracenys, as þogh þey were i-come of Sarra" [John of Trevisa, transl. Higdon's Polychronicon, 1387]
The name Greeks and Romans gave to the nomads of the Syrian and Arabian deserts. Specific sense of "Middle Eastern Muslim" is from the Crusades.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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