Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

Barbary

[bahr-buh-ree]
See more synonyms for Barbary on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a region in N Africa, extending from W of Egypt to the Atlantic Ocean and including the former Barbary States.
Show More
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for barbary

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • But if he trended to the south he might reach Spain and the Barbary States.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Decatur was the most conspicuous hero in the war with the Barbary States.

  • It was the first time that Barbary rovers were seen in England.

    The Sea-Hawk

    Raphael Sabatini

  • Sir Oliver was to have been sold into slavery to the Moors of Barbary.

    The Sea-Hawk

    Raphael Sabatini

  • For it is to Muslim wives that the housetops in Barbary are allotted.

    The Sea-Hawk

    Raphael Sabatini


British Dictionary definitions for barbary

Barbary

noun
  1. a historic name for a region of N Africa extending from W Egypt to the Atlantic and including the former Barbary States of Tripolitania, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco
Show More
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 barbary

Barbary

c.1300, "foreign lands" (especially non-Christian lands), from Latin barbaria (see barbarian). Meaning "Saracens living in coastal North Africa" is attested from 1590s, via French (Old French barbarie), from Arabic Barbar, Berber, ancient Arabic name for the inhabitants of North Africa beyond Egypt. Perhaps a native name, perhaps an Arabic word, from barbara "to babble confusedly," but this might be ultimately from Greek barbaria. "The actual relations (if any) of the Arabic and Gr[eek] words cannot be settled; but in European langs. barbaria, Barbarie, Barbary, have from the first been treated as identical with L. barbaria, Byzantine Gr[eek] barbaria land of barbarians" [OED].

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper