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Bedouin

or Bed·u·in

[bed-oo-in, bed-win]
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noun, plural Bed·ou·ins, (especially collectively) Bed·ou·in.
  1. an Arab of the desert, in Asia or Africa; nomadic Arab.
  2. a nomad; wanderer.
adjective
  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of the Bedouin.

Origin of Bedouin

1350–1400; Middle English Bedoyn < Middle French beduyn < Arabic badawī desert-dweller (badw desert + suffix of appurtenance)
Related formsBed·ou·in·ism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for bedouin

Bedouin

Beduin

noun
  1. plural -ins or -in a member of any of the nomadic tribes of Arabs inhabiting the deserts of Arabia, Jordan, and Syria, as well as parts of the Sahara
  2. a wanderer or rover
adjective
  1. of or relating to the Bedouins
  2. wandering or roving

Word Origin

C14: from Old French beduin, from Arabic badāwi, plural of badwi, from badw desert
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for bedouin

Bedouin

n.

c.1400, from Old French bedüin (Modern French bédouin), from colloquial Arabic badawin "desert-dwellers," plural of badawi, from badw "desert, camp." The Arabic plural suffix was mistaken for part of the word. A word from the Crusades, it probably was lost in English and then reborrowed from French c.1600. As an adjective from 1844.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper