1. a member of a Semitic people inhabiting Arabia and other countries of the Middle East.
  2. a member of any Arabic-speaking people.
  3. Arabian horse.
  4. Also called A·rab·ber [ey-rab-er] /ˈeɪˌræb ər/. Sometimes Offensive. a street peddler.
  5. Archaic: Sometimes Offensive. street arab.


  1. of or relating to Arabs.
  2. Arabian.
  3. Arabic.

  1. Arabia.
  2. Arabian.
  3. Arabic.


  1. a member of a Semitic people originally inhabiting Arabia, who spread throughout the Middle East, N Africa, and Spain during the seventh and eighth centuries ad
  2. a lively intelligent breed of horse, mainly used for riding
  3. (modifier) of or relating to the Arabsthe Arab nations

late 14c. (Arabes, a plural form), from Old French Arabi, from Latin Arabs (accusative Arabem), from Greek Araps (genitive Arabos), from Arabic ‘arab, indigenous name of the people, perhaps literally “inhabitant of the desert” and related to Hebrew arabha “desert.” Meaning “homeless little wanderer, child of the street” is from 1848 (originally Arab of the city), in reference to nomadic ways. Arab League formed in Cairo, March 22, 1945.

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