[jou-uh r, jou-er]

Origin of giaour

1555–65; earlier gower, gour < Turkish gâvur < Persian gaur, variant of gabr Zoroastrian, non-Muslim; spelling giaour < French, with gi- representing Turk palatalized g, later taken as spelling for j Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for giaour

Historical Examples of giaour

  • "Your medicine is good, Giaour," she said, with the ghost of a disdainful laugh.

    Paul Patoff

    F. Marion Crawford

  • “The admiral is speaking to us and the Giaour” said Tom, who was acting as signal-midshipman.

    The Three Commanders

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • The Tornado and Giaour, with numerous other steam-vessels, accompanied the fleet.

    The Three Commanders

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • I will strike this giaour of a Frenchman in his tenderest spot—his heart!

  • See, too, Medwin's story of "one of the principal incidents in The Giaour."

British Dictionary definitions for giaour


  1. a derogatory term for a non-Muslim, esp a Christian, used esp by the Turks

Word Origin for giaour

C16: from Turkish giaur unbeliever, from Persian gaur, variant of gäbr
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 giaour

1560s, Turkish term of contempt for non-Muslims, from Persian gaur, variant of gabr "fire-worshipper," originally applied to the adherents of the Zoroastrian religion.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper