Definition of Nabataean in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌnabəˈtiːən/
(also Nabatean)


1A member of an ancient Arabian people who from 312 bc formed an independent kingdom with its capital at Petra (now in Jordan). The kingdom was allied to the Roman Empire from 63 bc and incorporated as the province of Arabia in ad 106.
Example sentences
  • Petra is the legendary ancient city of the Nabateans, which was rediscovered by a Swiss explorer in 1812.
  • Within the gaunt pinnacles, in colours that represent ores and igneous rock, Ancient Egyptians, Semites and Nabataeans have left evidence of passage.
  • Petra, in what is now southern Jordan, was the Washington and New York City of the Nabataeans, the capital city and cultural center of a powerful nation built on the spice trade.
2 [mass noun] The extinct language of the Nabataeans, a form of Aramaic strongly influenced by Arabic.


Relating to the Nabataeans or their language.
Example sentences
  • A notable achievement of Nabataean technology was their elaborate network for water collection, storage, and distribution in their cities, as well as for agricultural use throughout the kingdom.
  • There are few locations in Egypt where evidence of Ancient Egyptian, Semitic and Nabataean culture overlap.
  • This ancient Nabatean city is so rich in history that everyday something new is being discovered.


From Latin Nabat(h)aeus, Greek Nabat(h)aios (compare with the Arabic adjective Nabaṭī 'relating to the Nabataeans') + -an.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: Naba|taean

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