• synonyms


or Bed·u·in

[bed-oo-in, bed-win]
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.
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  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of the Bedouin.
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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



  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
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  1. of or relating to the Bedouins
  2. wandering or roving
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Word Origin for Bedouin

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



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper