Definition of dragoman in English:



  • An interpreter or guide, especially in countries speaking Arabic, Turkish, or Persian.

    • ‘Street stalls of changers, merchants with money; crates unloading - fish, sugar - by Spaniards and Danes; dragomen emitting unrecognizable tongues: such swirl over Charles in our genre-esque scene.’
    • ‘In Arabic, this was turjuman and the Turkish dragoman.’
    • ‘They're called upon to seamlessly morph from domestic, to squire, to ingénue, to dragoman, to the overtly freakish.’
    • ‘Some other friends, also travelling in Libya this October, reported by fax that they were delighted by their ‘Brilliant dragoman speaking very good English.’’
    • ‘He asked, somewhat surprised at seeing someone climbing over the last stone without the help of a dragoman or guide, who usually assisted tourists up the pyramids.’
    • ‘My only comfort, a black dragoman, tribal scars on his face, until my parents returned from a performance of belly dancers and made the discovery that I had been bitten by an army of fire ants.’
    • ‘The last of the true dragomen was Maaroun ‘Arab who is said to have ruled Beirut when General Sir Edward Spears was High Commissioner during the Second World War.’
    interpreter, transcriber, transliterator, paraphraser, decipherer
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Late Middle English: from obsolete French, from Italian dragomanno, from medieval Greek dragoumanos, from Arabic tarjumān ‘interpreter’.