- a region in N Africa, extending from W of Egypt to the Atlantic Ocean and including the former Barbary States.
Examples from the Web for barbary
We fought our first foreign war in Algiers to defeat the Barbary pirates.The Algeria Powder Keg
January 21, 2013
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.
Sir Oliver was to have been sold into slavery to the Moors of Barbary.
For it is to Muslim wives that the housetops in Barbary are allotted.
- 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
Word Origin and History for 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].