Definition of fakir

1 \ fə-​ˈkir How to pronounce fə-ˈkir (audio) , fä-​ , fa-​ ; ˈfā-​kər \

a : a Muslim mendicant : dervish
b : an itinerant Hindu ascetic or wonder-worker
2 \ ˈfā-​kər How to pronounce ˈfā-kər (audio) \ : impostor especially : swindler

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of fakir in a Sentence

a traveling carnival that was run by fakirs preying on small-town rubes a fakir peddling patent medicines that were mostly liquor and sugar

Recent Examples on the Web

To be fair, the new nationalists have done their best, explicitly and repeatedly, to distance their emerging movement from white nationalists, alt-right fakirs, strident isolationists, and other assorted cranks. John Hood, National Review, "New Nationalists Make Three Big Bets," 28 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fakir.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of fakir

1609, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for fakir

Arabic faqīr, literally, poor man

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fakir

Dictionary Entries near fakir


fake out



fa la



Statistics for fakir

Last Updated

8 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fakir

The first known use of fakir was in 1609

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on fakir

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fakir

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fakir

Spanish Central: Translation of fakir

Nglish: Translation of fakir for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fakir

Comments on fakir

What made you want to look up fakir? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


tired or exhausted

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!