noun \ˈa-rəb, ˈer-əb; dial also ˈā-ˌrab\

: a member of the people who are originally from the Arabian Peninsula and who now live mostly in the Middle East and northern Africa

Full Definition of ARAB

a :  a member of the Semitic people of the Arabian Peninsula
b :  a member of an Arabic-speaking people
Arab adjective

Origin of ARAB

Middle English, from Latin Arabus, Arabs, from Greek Arab-, Araps, of Semitic origin; akin to Akkadian Arabu, Aribi desert nomads, Arabic Arāb Bedouins
First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with ARAB



Definition of ARAB


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any member of the Arabic-speaking peoples native to the Middle East and North Africa. Before the spread of Islam in the 630s, the term referred to the largely nomadic Semitic peoples of the Arabian Peninsula; it came to apply to Arabic-speaking peoples from Africa's Mauritanian and Moroccan coasts east to Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula and south to The Sudan after their acceptance of Islam. Traditionally, some Arabs are desert-dwelling pastoral nomads (see Bedouin), whereas others live by oases and in small, isolated farming villages. While most Arabs are Muslims, some are Christian. The term has also been used in a political sense by Arab nationalists to describe a greater sociolinguistic or ethnic ideal (“the Arab nation”). See also Pan-Arabism.


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