[fuh-keer, fey-ker]
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] .

1600–10; < Arabic faqīr poor

faker, fakir.
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World English Dictionary
fakir, faqir or fakeer (fəˈkɪə, ˈfeɪkə, fəˈkɪə, ˈfeɪkə, fəˈkɪə)
1.  a Muslim ascetic who rejects wordly possessions
2.  a Hindu ascetic mendicant or holy man
[C17: from Arabic faqīr poor]
faqir, faqir or fakeer
[C17: from Arabic faqīr poor]
fakeer, faqir or fakeer
[C17: from Arabic faqīr poor]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1609, from Arabic faqir "a poor man," from faqura "he was poor." Term for Muslim holy man who lived by begging, misapplied in 19c. Eng. (possibly under influence of faker) to Hindu ascetics. Arabic plural form fuqara may have led to variant early Eng. forms such as fuckiere (1638).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


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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Example sentences
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.
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