barbarian

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English, from Medieval Latin barbarinus (Berber, pagan, Saracen, barbarian), from Latin barbaria (foreign country), from barbarus (foreigner, savage), from Ancient Greek βάρβαρος (bárbaros, foreign, non-Greek, strange), onomatopoeic (mimicking foreign languages, akin to 'blah', 'blah'), cognate to Sanskrit बर्बर (barbara, barbarian, non-Aryan, stammering, blockhead).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK) IPA(key): /bɑː(ɹ).ˈbeə(ɹ).i.ən/
  • (US) IPA(key): /bɑɹ.ˈbeɹ.i.ən/
  • (file)

Adjective[edit]

barbarian (not comparable)

  1. Relating to people, countries or customs perceived as uncivilized or inferior.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

barbarian (plural barbarians)

  1. An uncivilized or uncultured person, originally compared to the hellenistic Greco-Roman civilisation; often associated with fighting or other such shows of strength.
  2. (derogatory) Someone from a developing country or backward culture.
  3. A warrior, clad in fur or leather, associated with sword and sorcery stories.
  4. (derogatory) A person destitute of culture; a Philistine.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of M. Arnold to this entry?)
  5. A cruel, savage, brutal person; one without pity or humanity.
    • Philips
      Thou fell barbarian.

Translations[edit]

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Related terms[edit]