Definition of Arabic in English:


Pronunciation /ˈerəbik/ /ˈɛrəbɪk/

Translate Arabic into Spanish


  • The Semitic language of the Arabs, spoken by some 150 million people throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

    ‘Dressed in a white forensic suit, he spoke in Arabic through an interpreter to confirm his name.’
    • ‘Now he speaks Arabic, understands some grammar and recites and memorizes surahs of Quran.’
    • ‘The dialects of spoken Arabic in the Middle East differ a lot as you move from region to region.’
    • ‘He would have been unable to understand why - he speaks neither Arabic nor English.’
    • ‘Its name in English and in many other languages derives, via Arabic, from an old Persian name, aspankh.’
    • ‘I can now get along in several languages, even the kind of Arabic spoken in Morocco, where I go quite a lot.’
    • ‘For those who speak it, Arabic is an instrument of expression and using it well is an art.’
    • ‘Often piled in corners, they were written in Arabic, German, Urdu and English.’
    • ‘Someone who only speaks Arabic has left five messages on my answerphone this morning for Yasmina.’
    • ‘The men spoke in Arabic among themselves and to the man in the yellow shirt sitting nearby.’
    • ‘An Arab is someone from the nations of the Middle East and North Africa where Arabic is the primary language.’
    • ‘BBC Arabic also broadcasts throughout the Arab world on shortwave and medium wave frequencies.’
    • ‘Links will also be made to the Bible in Arabic, English, French and Farsi.’
    • ‘As in Hebrew, the use of vowels in writing Aramaic and Arabic is a relatively late development.’
    • ‘I had by this point learned basic Arabic, which is the language they spoke.’
    • ‘Software is now being developed to translate to and from Arabic, Korean and Thai.’
    • ‘Later his work would be translated into Arabic after the fall of Alexandria.’
    • ‘Though he edited the Hebrew prayer book and composed some Hebrew liturgical poems, he wrote mostly in Arabic.’
    • ‘For example, the fact that classical Arabic is the language of the Koran endows it with special significance.’
    • ‘Jordanians are very friendly and hospitable, and a few words of Arabic will work wonders.’


  • Relating to the literature or language of Arab people.

    Arabic is written from right to left in a characteristic cursive script of twenty-eight consonants, the vowels being indicated by additional signs. The script has been adapted for various languages, including Persian, Urdu, Malay, and (formerly) Turkish

    ‘Arabic literature’
    • ‘a fluent Arabic-speaker’
    • ‘The influence of what was produced in that hundred years has left its imprint on Arabic poetry and literature for all times.’
    • ‘He spoke about teaching of Arabic language and literature.’
    • ‘In order to achieve that it is imperative for us to teach our children the Arabic language and history and the Islamic faith.’
    • ‘The council will focus on the expansion and growth of Arabic language in the state.’
    • ‘We had our school lessons and they were all in English, except for the Arabic language class that we took.’
    • ‘In the Arabic language, a feminine pronoun is generally used in such instances.’
    • ‘Its program stresses the study of the Arabic language as well as technical skills.’
    • ‘Her pale forehead creases under the fold of her white scarf; the Arabic exclamations are getting louder.’
    • ‘He arrived in the US in 1981 and worked as an Arabic instructor at Tampa University.’
    • ‘A number of prominent Arabic newspapers have published these views with regularity.’
    • ‘The reports in both the Western and the Arabic press are confused.’
    • ‘We asked him to look at the original Arabic report and give us his thoughts.’
    • ‘But Arabic style depends on allusion and implying things much more than Englisn.’
    • ‘With Shawqi's verses a great era of classical Arabic poetry came to an end.’
    • ‘They conferred in Arabic for the right English words, and also taught me a few Arabic phrases.’
    • ‘Do you wish to speak in the Arabic language first or do you wish to speak in English?’
    • ‘My language is a variant of Gujarati, with many Arabic vocabulary words.’
    • ‘Gibraltar is actually an Arabic word, a corruption of Jebel Tariq - Tariq's mountain.’
    • ‘The most striking example is that of Turkey, which scrapped Arabic script and adopted the Latin alphabet.’


Middle English via Latin arabicus from Greek arabikos, from Araps, Arab- ‘Arab’, from the Arabic (see Arab).