• synonyms


[ish-mee-uh-lahyt, -mey-uh-, -muh-]
  1. a descendant of Ishmael, the traditional ancestor of the Arab peoples.
  2. a wanderer or outcast.
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Origin of Ishmaelite

First recorded in 1570–80; Ishmael + -ite1
Related formsIsh·ma·el·it·ish, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ishmaelite

Historical Examples

  • This feeling had been accentuated by the Ishmaelite life he had led from his puppyhood.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • He would be an "Ishmaelite," finding "casus belli" in all the purposes of fate.

    Oswald Langdon

    Carson Jay Lee

  • There is a tender intimacy between the Ishmaelite and his flock.

  • But sensuousness and lawlessness are everywhere the stamp of the Ishmaelite.

  • I have left those rooms, and am a wanderer and an Ishmaelite.

    Randolph Caldecott

    Henry Blackburn

British Dictionary definitions for ishmaelite


  1. a supposed descendant of Ishmael; a member of a desert people of Old Testament times
  2. rare an outcast
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Derived FormsIshmaelitism, noun
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