Arab, Arabian, Arabic
1. These three terms refer to different aspects of Arabia and its people: Arab means a member of the Semitic people now inhabiting large parts of the Middle East and North Africa, and is also used as a quasi-adjective before a noun (the Arab people / Arab hopes / Arab philosophy); Arabian is an adjective having geographical reference to Arabia (the Arabian peninsula / an Arabian camel / Arabian fauna); and Arabic is a noun and adjective denoting a language (Do you speak Arabic? / Arabic literature).
2. Arabic is written with a capital initial in the expression Arabic numerals (the numbers 1, 2, 3, etc., as distinct from the Roman numerals I, II, III, etc.). It is written with a small initial in gum arabic, a type of gum exuded by African acacia trees.
3. The expression street Arab, first recorded in 1859, and for about a century commonly applied to a homeless child or other vagrant living on the streets, is now regarded as offensive and is rarely used.

Modern English usage. 2014.

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  • 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… …   Etymology dictionary

  • 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

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