Arabic (adj.) early 14c., from O.Fr. Arabique (13c.), from L. Arabicus "Arabic" (see ARAB (Cf. Arab)). Old English used Arabisc "Arabish." Originally in reference to gum arabic; noun meaning "Arabic language" is from late 14c.
Arabic numerals (actually Indian) first attested 1727; they were introduced in Europe by Gerbert of Aurillac (later Pope Sylvester II) after a visit to Islamic Spain in 967-970. A prominent man of science, he taught in the diocesan school at Reims, but the numbers made little headway against conservative opposition in the Church until after the Crusades. The earliest depiction of them in English, in "The Crafte of Nombrynge" (c.1350) correctly identifies them as "teen figurys of Inde."

Etymology dictionary. 2014.


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  • arabic — ARÁBIC, Ă, arabici, ce, adj. 1. Arab. 2. (În sintagma) Gumă arabică = substanţă vâscoasă obţinută din lichidul secretat de unele specii de salcâm (sau pe cale sintetică) şi folosită ca material de lipit pentru hârtie. – Din fr. arabique. Trimis… …   Dicționar Român

  • Arabic — Ar a*bic, a. [L. Arabicus, fr. Arabia.] Of or pertaining to Arabia or the Arabians. [1913 Webster] {Arabic numerals} or {figures}, the nine digits, 1, 2, 3, etc., and the cipher 0. {Gum arabic}. See under {Gum}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Arabic — Ar a*bic, n. The language of the Arabians. [1913 Webster] Note: The Arabic is a Semitic language, allied to the Hebrew. It is very widely diffused, being the language in which all Moslems must read the Koran, and is spoken as a vernacular tongue… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Arabic — ► NOUN ▪ the Semitic language of the Arabs, written from right to left in a cursive script. ► ADJECTIVE ▪ relating to the Arabs or Arabic …   English terms dictionary

  • Arabic — [ar′ə bik, er′ə bik] adj. 1. of Arabia 2. of the Arabs or their language or culture 3. [a ] designating an acid, C5H10O6, found in gum arabic n. the Semitic language of the Arabs, spoken in Arabia, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, N Africa, etc. in various… …   English World dictionary

  • arabic — numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc., as distinct from roman numbers I, II, III, IV, V, etc.) …   Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games

  • Arabic — Arab, *Arabian …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Arabic — ISO 639 3 Code : ara ISO 639 2/B Code : ara ISO 639 2/T Code : ara ISO 639 1 Code : ar Scope : Macrolanguage Language Type : Living Individual languages : Identifier : abh Name: Tajiki Arabic Individual languages : Identifier : abv Name: Baharna… …   Names of Languages ISO 639-3

  • Arabic — /ar euh bik/, adj. 1. of, belonging to, or derived from the language or literature of the Arabs. 2. noting, pertaining to, or in the alphabetical script used for the writing of Arabic probably since about the fourth century A.D., and adopted with …   Universalium

  • Arabic — [[t]æ̱rəbɪk[/t]] 1) N UNCOUNT Arabic is a language that is spoken in the Middle East and in parts of North Africa. 2) ADJ Something that is Arabic belongs or relates to the language, writing, or culture of the Arabs. ...a large tapestry with… …   English dictionary