Person belonging to one of the nomadic peoples of the Syrian and Arabian deserts. They were fine guerrilla fighters who, as Muslims, fought against the Christian crusaders. Later, the word became a generic term for any non-Christian. It is remembered today in the names of many inns and pubs such as the Saracen's Head. [< Gr. Sarakenos] -

Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases. .

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  • Saracen — Sar a*cen, n. [L. Saracenus perhaps fr. Ar. sharqi, pl. sharqi[=i]n, Oriental, Eastern, fr. sharaqa to rise, said of the sun: cf. F. sarrasin. Cf. {Sarcenet}, {Sarrasin}, {Sirocco}.] Anciently, an Arab; later, a Mussulman; in the Middle Ages, the …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Saracen — O.E., an Arab (in Greek and Roman translations), also, mid 13c., generally, non Christian, heathen, pagan, from O.Fr. saracin, from L.L. saracenus, from Gk. sarakenos, usually said to be from Arabic Sharquiyin, accusative plural of sharqiy… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Saracen — ► NOUN 1) an Arab or Muslim, especially at the time of the Crusades. 2) a nomad of the Syrian and Arabian desert at the time of the Roman Empire. ORIGIN Greek Sarak nos, perhaps from an Arabic word meaning «eastern» …   English terms dictionary

  • Saracen — [sar′ə sən] n. [ME Sarasene < OFr & LL: OFr Sarrazin < LL Saracenus < LGr Sarakēnos < ? Ar sharqīyīn, easterners, pl. of sharqī, eastern < sharq, east] 1. Historical a member of any of the nomadic tribes of Syria and nearby regions …   English World dictionary

  • Saracen — This article is about the ancient Saracens. For other uses, see Saracen (disambiguation). Saracen was a term used by the ancient Romans to refer to a people who lived in desert areas in and around the Roman province of Arabia, and who were… …   Wikipedia

  • Saracen — n. & adj. hist. n. 1 an Arab or Muslim at the time of the Crusades. 2 a nomad of the Syrian and Arabian desert. adj. of the Saracens. Phrases and idioms: Saracen corn Brit. archaic buckwheat. Saracen s head the head of a Saracen or Turk as a… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Saracen — UK [ˈsærəsən] / US [ˈserəs(ə)n] noun [countable] Word forms Saracen : singular Saracen plural Saracens a name given to Arabs and other Muslims by the Christians who fought against them in religious wars in the Middle Ages …   English dictionary

  • Saracen — noun Etymology: Middle English, from Old English, from Late Latin Saracenus, from Late Greek Sarakēnos Date: before 12th century a member of a nomadic people of the deserts between Syria and Arabia; broadly Arab • Saracen adjective • Saracenic… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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