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fakir

[fuh-keer, fey-ker] /fəˈkɪər, ˈfeɪ kər/
noun
1.
a Muslim or Hindu religious ascetic or mendicant monk commonly considered a wonder-worker.
2.
a member of any Islamic religious order; dervish.
Also, fakeer
[fuh-keer] /fəˈkɪər/ (Show IPA)
.
Origin
1600-1610
1600-10; < Arabic faqīr poor
Can be confused
faker, fakir.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for fakeer

fakir

/fəˈkɪə; ˈfeɪkə/
noun
1.
a Muslim ascetic who rejects wordly possessions
2.
a Hindu ascetic mendicant or holy man
Word Origin
C17: from Arabic faqīr poor
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 fakeer

fakir

n.

c.1600, from Arabic faqir "a poor man," from faqura "he was poor." Term for Muslim holy man who lived by begging, misapplied in 19c. English (possibly under influence of faker) to Hindu ascetics. Arabic plural form fuqara may have led to variant early English forms such as fuckiere (1630s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for fakeer

fakir

originally, a mendicant dervish. In mystical usage, the word fakir refers to man's spiritual need for God, who alone is self-sufficient. Although of Muslim origin, the term has come to be applied in India to Hindus as well, largely replacing gosvamin, sadhu, bhikku, and other designations. Fakirs are generally regarded as holy men who are possessed of miraculous powers, such as the ability to walk on fire. While less influential in urban areas since the spread of education and technology, fakirs retain some hold over the people of the villages and the interior of India. Among Muslims the leading Sufi orders of fakirs are the Chishtiyah, Qadiriyah, Naqshbandiyah, and Suhrawardiyah.

Learn more about fakir with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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