- a non-Greek.
- a person living outside, especially north of, the Roman Empire.
- a person not living in a Christian country or within a Christian civilization.
Examples from the Web for barbarian
I wrote my first book listening to the soundtrack to the movie Conan the Barbarian on a loop.
Instead of thinking of a sharp distinction between "Roman" and "barbarian," we should think in terms of economic zones.
What can explain Morris's insistence in continuing to describe whole cultures and societies as "barbarian"?
Lastly, Levy objects to my occasional use, in the past, of the word "barbarian".
The idea is, hold back the barbarian hordes, and excise the cancerous growth that is sucking the lifeblood from our economy.
The cookies resting joyfully in their barbarian young stomachs could not very well be restored.Chicken Little Jane|Lily Munsell Ritchie
A man without learning and surrounded by barbarian soldiers, Mehemet Ali appears before the world as nature made him.
I am afraid I'm a bit of a barbarian, and don't reckon with them as reverently as I ought.The Gateless Barrier|Lucas Malet
They dwell under the painted lodge of the barbarian, and they burn even in the heart of the benighted heathen.The Infidel, Vol. II.|Robert Montgomery Bird
People thought themselves dreaming till the enormous head of the bull 15 began to turn in the iron hands of the barbarian.Story Hour Readings: Seventh Year|E.C. Hartwell
British Dictionary definitions for barbarian
Word Origin for barbarian
Word Origin and History for barbarian
mid-14c., from Medieval Latin barbarinus (source of Old French barbarin "Berber, pagan, Saracen, barbarian"), from Latin barbaria "foreign country," from Greek barbaros "foreign, strange, ignorant," from PIE root *barbar- echoic of unintelligible speech of foreigners (cf. Sanskrit barbara- "stammering," also "non-Aryan," Latin balbus "stammering," Czech blblati "to stammer").
Greek barbaroi (n.) meant "all that are not Greek," but especially the Medes and Persians. Originally not entirely pejorative, its sense darkened after the Persian wars. The Romans (technically themselves barbaroi) took up the word and applied it to tribes or nations which had no Greek or Roman accomplishments. The noun is from late 14c., "person speaking a language different from one's own," also (c.1400) "native of the Barbary coast;" meaning "rude, wild person" is from 1610s.