- History/Historical. a member of any of the nomadic tribes on the Syrian borders of the Roman Empire.
- (in later use) an Arab.
- a Muslim, especially in the period of the Crusades.
- Also Sar·a·cen·ic [sar-uh-sen-ik] /ˌsær əˈsɛn ɪk/, Sar·a·cen·i·cal. of or relating to the Saracens.
Origin of Saracen
Examples from the Web for saracen
The remark “is totally going to lose him the Norman, Druid, Jute and Saracen vote,” one wit commented.Mitt Romney Using U.K. Visit to Raise Money
July 26, 2012
They were not sure whether she were most Saracen, gipsy, or Jew.The Armourer's Prentices
Charlotte M. Yonge
Richard forgot his purpose, forgot that Blake waited for him at the Saracen's Head.Mistress Wilding
The Saracen's Head, which had welcomed Paoli before now, received the travellers.James Boswell
William Keith Leask
But to be accurate, it was a Moorish invasion and a Saracen conquest!A Short History of Spain
Mary Platt Parmele
The German, the Saracen, the Norman made their appearance on the scene.Theodoric the Goth
- history a member of one of the nomadic Arabic tribes, esp of the Syrian desert, that harassed the borders of the Roman Empire in that region
- a Muslim, esp one who opposed the crusades
- (in later use) any Arab
- of or relating to Arabs of either of these periods, regions, or types
- designating, characterizing, or relating to Muslim art or architecture
Word Origin and History for saracen
Old English, "an Arab" (in Greek and Roman translations), also, mid-13c., generally, "non-Christian, heathen, pagan," from Old French saracin, from Late Latin saracenus, from Greek sarakenos, usually said to be from Arabic sharquiyin, accusative plural of sharqiy "eastern," from sharq "east, sunrise," but this is not certain. In medieval times the name was associated with that of Biblical Sarah (q.v.).
Peple þat cleped hem self Saracenys, as þogh þey were i-come of Sarra [John of Trevisa, translation of Higdon's Polychronicon, 1387]
The name Greeks and Romans gave to the nomads of the Syrian and Arabian deserts. Specific sense of "Middle Eastern Muslim" is from the Crusades. From c.1300 as an adjective. Related: Saracenic; and cf. sarsen.