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Ar·​a·​bic ˈa-rə-bik How to pronounce Arabic (audio)
: a Semitic language originally of the Arabs of the Hejaz and Nejd that is now the prevailing speech of a wide region of southwestern Asia and northern Africa


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: of, relating to, or constituting the language Arabic
Arabic neologisms of the nineteenth century …Bernard Lewis
His bibliography contains no classical Arabic texts and only a handful of dubiously transliterated recent Arabic titles …Pierre Cachia
… edited and reviewed by Arabic scholars in Paris …Edwin McDowell
: expressed in or utilizing Arabic numerals
21 is an Arabic number.
Arabic notation
: of, relating to, or characteristic of Arabia or the Arabs
As Arabic music permeates various other sounds, so are western sounds finding their way into various Arabic musics.Hank Bordowitz
The Middle East meets the Wild West in this variation on Arabic hummus.Steven Raichlen
There still exist some folk instruments in Portugal whose names indicate their Arabic origin.Alexander Buchner

Examples of Arabic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Looming threat of Rafah invasion The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) dropped leaflets and sent text messages in Arabic on May 6, calling for about 100,000 people to evacuate the eastern part of Rafah and to head north to the Al-Mawasi humanitarian corridor as airstrikes began. Mary Kekatos, ABC News, 17 May 2024 At the Hand in Hand school in Jerusalem, children learn both Arabic and Hebrew. Debora Patta, CBS News, 9 May 2024 Recruitment of foot soldiers is focused online, where ISIS-K maintains an extensive media operation in Arabic, English, Russian and other languages. Eric Schmitt, New York Times, 18 Apr. 2024 And in November, Microsoft made G42’s Arabic AI language model, called Jais, available on its cloud. Cat Zakrzewski, Washington Post, 16 Apr. 2024 The app appears to be able to recognize and transcribe other languages, too; one user spoke in Russian and the transcript appeared in Cyrillic, while another spoke in Moroccan Arabic, known as darija, and then marveled in a follow-up voice note at how good the transcription was. Lauren Goode, WIRED, 15 Apr. 2024 People who form their views from TikTok videos, rumors, misinformation-laden social-media posts, and Al-Jazeera Arabic’s pro-Hamas coverage will have a skewed understanding of October 7 and the war. Ahmed Fouad Alkhatib, The Atlantic, 10 Apr. 2024 Information would be available in English and also in Arabic, Bengali, Spanish, Urdu and Hebrew. Eduardo Cuevas, USA TODAY, 6 Apr. 2024 On a summer holiday in Alexandria, father and son both fall for Mona, a twentysomething British woman who speaks fluent Arabic, but only Pasha gets to marry her. Hazlitt, 3 Apr. 2024
Succession powerhouse Brian Cox was also spotted wearing a refined Cartier Pasha Chronograph, while Tom Brady showed off a steely Rolex Day-Date with an Arabic dial at the E1 Venice GP. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 18 May 2024 Palestinians refer to their displacement during the 1948 Israeli-Arab war as the Nakba, which is Arabic for catastrophe. Wendy Lee, Los Angeles Times, 14 May 2024 Le Caire started as a case manager and Arabic translator for her first client, a Yemeni woman, though the two eventually developed a mother-daughter relationship after talking on the phone everyday. Solcyré Burga, TIME, 12 May 2024 At least 40 tents have been set up since Thursday, according to El País, where Jewish and Arabic students are taking part in the encampment. Solcyré Burga, TIME, 3 May 2024 Cecelia Fischer, a UCLA student majoring in history and Arabic whose honors thesis is on Jewish history, has been involved in promoting respectful conversations. Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times, 2 May 2024 The Arabic words recited by observant Muslims reverberated off the historic academic buildings as Palestinian flags tied to flagpoles fluttered in the wind. Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, 23 Apr. 2024 Will cities once stolen bear their original Arabic names? Ahmad Ibsais, TIME, 18 Apr. 2024 Across concert posters and LP sleeves, many of which the Museum of Modern Art now holds, her designs combined Celtic complexity, Arabic curvatures and a ritualized numerical precision uncommon even for the baroque 1960s. Walker Mimms, New York Times, 17 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Arabic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of Arabic was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near Arabic

Cite this Entry

“Arabic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adjective
Ar·​a·​bic ˈar-ə-bik How to pronounce Arabic (audio)
: expressed in or making use of Arabic numerals


2 of 2 noun
: a Semitic language that is the chief language of a wide region of southwestern Asia and northern Africa

Medical Definition


Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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