A Semitic language originating in the Arabian Peninsula that since the 7th century AD has come to be the principal language of a wide area of the Middle East and North Africa. Modern spoken Arabic consists of many different, often mutually unintelligible dialects, and a modified form of classical Arabic is used as the language of education and administration across the area.
Of or relating to Arabia, the Arabs, their language, or their culture.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.