Definitions

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

  • n. Offensive Used as a disparaging term for a Converso.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of the Sephardi Jews who stayed in Iberia during the Spanish Inquisition, and continued to practice Judaism in secret.

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

  • n. (medieval Spain and Portugal) a disparaging term for a Jew who converted to Christianity in order to avoid persecution but continued to practice their religion secretly

Etymologies

Spanish, pig, Marrano (from the Jewish prohibition against eating pork), probably from Arabic maḥram, something forbidden, from ḥarama, to forbid; see ḥrm in Semitic roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Spanish marrano, of disputed origin. Perhaps a transferred use of marrano ("hog"), but many sources consider them distinct words. (Wiktionary)

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