One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A native Egyptian in the Hellenistic and Roman periods.
- ‘Moreover, ethnically differentiated people have been lumped together, for example, the Copts and the Berbers are not ethnically the same people.’
- ‘Outnumbered by the native Copts, they settled just north of the Christian town, within the area of modern Cairo, and dreamed of building a new Islamic city.’
- ‘When Muslim armies invaded Egypt, they were welcomed by the Egyptian Copts as liberators from Byzantine oppression.’
2A member of the Coptic Church.
- ‘The Christian Copts, who are said to be pure representatives of the ancient Egyptians, claim them as their own.’
- ‘It is easier now than in the past to obtain permission to build churches, Coptic Christmas has become a national holiday and Copts hold a number of cabinet-level portfolios.’
- ‘On the eve of both Christmas day and Easter day, Orthodox Copts break their fast with a variety of dishes made of beef and poultry.’
- ‘For all these reasons, more than 500,000 Copts are estimated to have left Egypt for the West in the past decade.’
- ‘Aswan was once an important centre for Christian Copts.’
- ‘Recently, Copts have introduced English into their church services (usually in sermons) to maintain the participation of new generations of American-born Egyptians.’
- ‘The Copts, an indigenous Monophysite Christian church, are the largest and most important minority, some 12% of the population.’
- ‘It is not strong among some Christian groups like Egypt's Copts, and among certain educated elite.’
From French Copte or modern Latin Coptus, from Arabic al-qibṭ, al-qubṭ ‘Copts’, from Coptic Gyptios, from Greek Aiguptios ‘Egyptian’.
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