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street arab

or street Arab

noun, Archaic: Sometimes Offensive.
a person, especially a child, who lives a homeless, vagabond life on the streets; urchin.
Origin of street arab
First recorded in 1860-65
Usage note
See Arab. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for street arab
Historical Examples
  • She gave him half a sovereign, and he wished he had been a street arab to whom she could have said, "And keep the change."

    The Gay Adventure Richard Bird
  • The street arab has all the faults and all the virtues of the lawless life he leads.

    How the Other Half Lives Jacob A. Riis
  • The Schoolmaster says: 'This is a good rattling story of a street arab who has a series of interesting and exciting adventures.'

  • This is the newsboy of London, a personality into which the street arab not infrequently develops.

  • The first lad was at this moment the victor, and he plunged down the side street with a fleetness known only to the street arab.

    In Wild Rose Time Amanda M. Douglas
  • He threw his cigar away with a petulant gesture, and watched a street arab dive for it among the traffic with a sneer of disgust.

    The Soul Stealer Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
  • They talked excitedly in whispers and the boy who had just entered gave the street arab some money.

    The Master Mystery Arthur B. Reeve and John W. Grey
  • Once in a while some street arab let drive a stone, then dove under the nearest car, and scurried away into hiding.

British Dictionary definitions for street arab

street Arab

(literary, old-fashioned) a homeless child, esp one who survives by begging and stealing; urchin
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
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