Definitions

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

  • n. A member of a pre-Islamic nomadic people of the Syrian-Arabian deserts.
  • n. An Arab.
  • n. A Muslim, especially of the time of the Crusades.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A group of nomadic people from the Sinai.
  • n. An Arab or any Muslim, especially one involved in the Crusades.
  • n. A pirate in the Mediterranean.
  • n. A type of six-wheeled armoured personnel carrier.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Anciently, an Arab; later, a Mussulman; in the Middle Ages, the common term among Christians in Europe for a Mohammedan hostile to the crusaders.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A name given by the later Romans and Greeks to the nomadic tribes on the Syrian borders of the Roman empire; after the introduction of Mohammedanism, an Arab; by extension applied to Turks and other Mohammedans, and even to all non-Christian peoples against whom a crusade was preached.
  • n. One who continued to use the old low-framed Saracenic loom in the production of arras or Saracenic tapestry, as distinguished from those who adopted the high frame.

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

  • n. (when used broadly) any Arab
  • n. (historically) a Muslim who opposed the Crusades
  • n. (historically) a member of the nomadic people of the Syrian and Arabian deserts at the time of the Roman Empire

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English, from Late Latin Saracēnus, from Late Greek Sarakēnos, ultimately from Arabic šarq, east, sunrise; see śrq in Semitic roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek Σαρακηνός (Sarakēnos), which may be from Arabic شرقيين (sharqiyyin, "easterners"), though the Oxford English Dictionary disputes this. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • "2. One who continued to use the old low-framed Saracenic loom in the production of arras or Saracenic tapestry, as distinguished from those who adopted the high frame."

    --from the Century Dictionary

    December 28, 2010