From Middle English, from Medieval Latin barbarinus (“Berber, pagan, Saracen, barbarian”), from Latin barbaria (“foreign country”), from barbarus (“foreigner, savage”), from Ancient Greek βάρβαρος (barbaros, “foreign, non-Greek, strange”), onomatopoeic (mimicking foreign languages, akin to 'blah blah'), cognate to Sanskrit बर्बर (barbara, “barbarian, non-Aryan, stammering, blockhead”).
barbarian (not comparable)
barbarian (plural barbarians)
- An uncivilized or uncultured person, originally compared to the hellenistic Greco-Roman civilisation; often associated with fighting or other such shows of strength.
- (derogatory) Someone from a developing country or backward culture.
- A warrior, clad in fur or leather, associated with sword and sorcery stories.
- (derogatory) A person destitute of culture; a Philistine.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of M. Arnold to this entry?)
- A cruel, savage, brutal person; one without pity or humanity.
- Thou fell barbarian.
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