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[fuh-keer, fey-ker] /fəˈkɪər, ˈfeɪ kər/
a Muslim or Hindu religious ascetic or mendicant monk commonly considered a wonder-worker.
a member of any Islamic religious order; dervish.
Also, fakeer
[fuh-keer] /fəˈkɪər/ (Show IPA)
1600-10; < Arabic faqīr poor
Can be confused
faker, fakir. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for fakir
  • He bought the log cabin from a fakir, secured the funds for building the mausoleum, and then erected it.
  • They merely follow with their usual intentness the swaying mo tion of the fakir.
British Dictionary definitions for fakir


/fəˈkɪə; ˈfeɪkə/
a Muslim ascetic who rejects wordly possessions
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 fakir

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 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.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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