Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A member of a North African, primarily Muslim people living in settled or nomadic tribes from Morocco to Egypt.
  • n. Any of the Afro-Asiatic languages of the Berbers.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A member of a particular ethnic group indigenous to northwest Africa.
  • proper n. A group of closely related Afroasiatic languages spoken in northern Africa, particularly Morocco and Algeria.
  • adj. Of the Berber people, their culture, or their language.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A member of a race somewhat resembling the Arabs, but often classed as Hamitic, who were formerly the inhabitants of the whole of North Africa from the Mediterranean southward into the Sahara, and who still occupy a large part of that region; -- called also Kabyles. Also, the language spoken by this people.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A person belonging to any one of a group of tribes inhabiting the mountainous parts of Barbary and portions of the Sahara, descended from the primitive race of those regions.
  • n. The language spoken by the Berbers. It is one of the Hamitic languages.
  • Of or pertaining to the Berbers or their language.
  • n. A cold fog, analogous to fine sleet, which freezes to one's face and hair or beard. See barber.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a cluster of related dialects that were once the major language of northern Africa west of Egypt; now spoken mostly in Morocco
  • n. a member of an indigenous people of northern Africa

Etymologies

Arabic Barbar.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • 24 ON THE BERBER LANGUAGE. of North Africa, we find another Tuggurt and another Wurgela, the one in the twentieth, and the other in the twenty-fourth degree of north lati - tude, and these Berber names are sure indications of the Berber language.

    Transactions of the American Philosophical Society

  • For those interested, a fascinating read on the subject is Katherine E. Hoffman's We Share Walls: Language, Land, and Gender in Berber Morocco.

    Global Voices in English » Morocco: Teaching “Berber” in Schools

  • "Arab and Amazigh are two separate things," says Muftah Latif, a pro-Gadhafi Arab resident from al-Jumail, outside Zuwara, using another term for Berber.

    Camels, Minority Rights Spur Battle in Libya

  • In Egypt the Berber from the Upper Nile is the favourite suisse; being held more honest or rather less rascally than the usual Egyptian.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • She told me the name Berber wasn't her own, that she had taken it because it belonged to a tribe of wanderers -- Arabs.

    The Nest Builder

  • The same attitude of mind that, after evoking the fascinating and enigmatic figure of a certain Berber grandfather, would lead me to describe more or less in these words an old photo (now almost eighty years old) showing my parents both standing, beautiful and young, facing the photographer, showing in their faces an expression of solemn seriousness, maybe fright in front of the camera at the very instant when the lens is about to capture the image they will never have again, because the following day will be, implacably, another day ...

    José Saramago - Nobel Lecture

  • A modern study however shows a clear genetic difference between “Berbers” (defined as the Berber speaking population) and “Arabs” (defined as the Arabic speaking population in North Africa), these latter subjects “probably correspond to a heterogeneous group representing various ethnicities”.

    Global Voices in English » Morocco: Teaching “Berber” in Schools

  • What is now called a Berber rug is a level-loop carpet with low, fat loops and a pebbly texture.

    HOME COMFORTS

  • So successful was all this preparation and organization directed by the Sirdar, that when the new railway had reached Abu Hamed, and that place had been captured after a stiff fight by Colonel Hunter, an immediate advance was made, and Berber, which is about a hundred miles farther up the river, fell without a blow, on September 6.

    Kitchener, Organizer of Victory

  • The Tuareg pre-date the introduction of Islam and speak a Berber language, Tamasheq, related to ancient Egyptian, with an equally ancient alphabet and script known as Tifinagh.

    All articles at Blogcritics

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