American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A Muslim religious mendicant.
- n. A Hindu ascetic or religious mendicant, especially one who performs feats of magic or endurance.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A Mohammedan religious mendicant or ascetic “who is in need of mercy, and poor in the sight of God, rather than in need of worldly assistance” (Hughes, Dict. of Islam). Fakirs are of two great classes: those who are “with the law,” and govern their conduct according to the principles of Islam, and those who are “without the law,” and do not rule their lives according to the principles of any religious creed, though they call themselves Mussulmans. The former usually enter one of the various religious orders, and are then commonly known as dervishes. Hughes. See
- n. A Hindu devotee or ascetic; a yogi.
- n. A misspelling of faker.
- n. Islam A faqir.
- n. Hindu an ascetic mendicant, especially one who performs feats of endurance or apparent magic
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. an Oriental Muslim or Hindu religious ascetic or begging monk who is regarded as a holy man or a wonder worker.
- n. See faker.
- n. a Muslim or Hindu mendicant monk who is regarded as a holy man
- From Arabic فقير (faqīr) ("poor man"). (Wiktionary)
- From Arabic faqīr, poor, from faqura, to be poor, be needy; see pqr in Semitic roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“He could read the fellow thoroughly, and knew him to be what is commonly called a fakir, pure and simple.”
“Mark Liberman of Language Log has an enjoyably discursive post on the use and misuse of the word fakir, properly 'a Muslim religious mendicant' (it's from Arabic faqi:r 'poor') but with an extended meaning 'Hindu ascetic or religious mendicant, especially one who performs feats of magic or endurance' (in the words of the AHD definition); when I asked my wife what image she associated with the word, she said "a guy lying on a bed of nails," which fits the second sense exactly and I think would be the most common answer if you took a poll.”
“Jesus Christ is called a fakir-that is one expression.”
“They claim supernatural powers to confer good and invoke evil, and the curse of a fakir is the last misfortune that an honest Hindu cares to bring upon himself, for it means a failure of his harvests, the death of his cattle by disease, sickness in his family and bad luck in everything that he undertakes.”
“[FN#82] The Arabic word fakir means literally, "a poor man;" but it would appear, from what follows, that Uns el Wujoud had disguised himself as a religious mendicant and was taken for such by the people of the castle.”
“The beetle in his eyes is no ordinary beetle, but one of the gods incarnated in the insect for this special purpose; and the fakir is a holy ascetic, who has acted in this case by the order of the same god.”
“If I try to cast my mind back to the time before I knew Arabic, I suppose I thought 'fakir' meant 'yogi, swami, thin person with straggly beard who lies in bed of nails'; but I'm pretty sure I always saw the connexion with 'faker' as just an accident.”
“I didn't at first know 'fakir' was simply faqi:r 'poor', but it was obviously an Oriental word referring to some specific religious class, unrelated to the English word.”
“I don't think that this usage is really current, but from the OED's quotations, and some others that I've found, it does seem that "fakir" was used in the meaning of "dishonest street vendor" in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.”
“When I read Lynch's use of "fakir" in reference to MacPherson, I thought it was just a mistake, either a typo or an "eggcorn".”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘fakir’.
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Looking for tweets for fakir.