Definition of Saracen in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈserəsən/


1An Arab or Muslim, especially at the time of the Crusades.
Example sentences
  • The origins of Gothic are obscure - the adoption of the pointed arch may well have stemmed from contact with the Saracens during the crusades - but probably lie in northern France during the late 12th and early 13th cents.
  • It is also said that he appeared to the English King Richard I (the Lionheart) during his Crusade against the Saracens, which served as a great encouragement to the troops.
  • Supposedly erected by a Knight of Blacas, who vowed to do so after falling foul to the Saracens during the crusades, the star has remained in place for almost 500 years.
1.1A nomad of the Syrian and Arabian desert at the time of the Roman Empire.
Example sentences
  • His narrative of storms, Saracens, and Greeks, his descriptions of sites linked with Helen and Paris as well as with Christ, vividly illustrate the wider world into which the English were now moving.
  • In Sicily, we have the Saracens, an Arab tribe from the Sinai.
  • Vikings from the north, Magyars from the east, and Saracens from the South plundered the continent.



Pronunciation: /ˌserəˈsenik/
Example sentences
  • The real treat, though, is a series of shimmering blue-green plates embedded in the side, between the Cosmatesque mosaics: twelfth-century Saracenic ware, on which Arabic characters are clearly visible.
  • The Crusaders destroyed the splendid library of Tripoli and reduced to ashes many of the glorious centres of Saracenic art and culture.
  • You walked into a courtyard lined with Saracenic arches rising from polyhedral capitals.


Middle English, from Old French sarrazin, via late Latin from late Greek Sarakēnos, perhaps from Arabic šarḳī 'eastern'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: Sar·a·cen

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