Definition of Bedouin in US English:


(also Beduin)


  • A nomadic Arab of the desert.

    • ‘I told them the Bedouins sometimes catch and eat them and I also rashly told them I would catch one.’
    • ‘The Bedouins are known for their weaving of fabrics, including carpets and prayer rugs made on hand-built looms, and traditional clothing that is painstakingly embroidered.’
    • ‘For those from the desert - Bedouins to Bushmen - 100-degree heat is hardly noteworthy.’
    • ‘Yet the multiple causes affecting the Saudi Bedouins do not fit into the neat valences of event ecology, nor do they extend outward from a single environmental event.’
    • ‘It was due to the Quran that the Bedouins of Arabia who were engaged in rearing camels and goats could control the whole civilised world in such a short time and become the heirs to the Roman, Persian, Syriac, Indian and Greek knowledge.’
    • ‘Now, I'm sure I read an explanation of this in a text book once, same reason Bedouins wear black robes in the desert or something like that, but I could be wrong.’
    • ‘When the sunrise finally came and Abdullah was no where to be found the other Bedouins would assume that the wolves had taken him instead of a goat.’
    • ‘All around are Bedouins, colorful tents, mountains and sea.’
    • ‘Soon after, the crew was captured by Bedouins and forced to march across the Sahara for days with little food or water.’
    • ‘The Bedouins who lead these trips never stop talking to each other, gossiping all day about a camel lost some weeks ago, or how a western woman gave some villagers a sewing machine, and how they responded and how she responded.’
    • ‘The Bedouins who shared their tea, sweet goat butter, dates, and conversation in a tent out in the Kuwaiti desert.’
    • ‘In the middle of the strata are former Bedouins, Arabian Desert nomads, who settled in Kuwait with the advent of the oil industry.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, Bedouins have served in paratroop units and other Arabs have volunteered for military duty.’
    • ‘Archaeologists responded by buying the scrolls from antiquities dealers, then hiring the Bedouins to help them further excavate the fragments of this ancient library.’
    • ‘The Arabian horse, coveted by the Bedouins in ancient times, was bred to have great agility, powerful strength, and more stamina than any other horse.’
    • ‘The Arabs of the early 7th century were Bedouins or desert nomads.’
    • ‘There are large towns in Cyrenaica, but until recently the nomadic Bedouins dominated the countryside.’
    • ‘The nomadic peoples of the region, such as the Bedouins, have long possessed rich narrative traditions of their own, not least among them the great hilali epic cycles.’
    • ‘It developed a sophisticated oral tradition through the poetry of the nomadic Bedouins before it became the language of the Islamic religion and its holy text, the Koran, in the seventh century.’
    • ‘They suspect that Bedouins may have provided arms, or helped the attackers navigate through the desert and find refuge in the mountainous areas.’


  • Relating to the Bedouin.

    • ‘Modesty in Bedouin society is associated with sexuality and femininity.’
    • ‘Eventually, I do find an older building (albeit renovated) in the shape of the excellent Dubai Museum, with its evocative waxworks of souk and Bedouin life.’
    • ‘The cluster of dive boats in the water stands in stark contrast to the jagged Sinai mountains and Bedouin tents on the land.’
    • ‘The place is literally full of cream linen draped huge beds, complete with shoe-less diners sitting Bedouin style with other groups eating food off central trays.’
    • ‘There were a few camels and traditional black Bedouin tents here and there with large flocks of sheep and goats nearby.’
    • ‘The management of these territories was a complex and highly structured process in the context of Bedouin life.’
    • ‘Tribes and tribal allegiances spanned these borders, and while relations between nations remained positive, the flow of Bedouin migration continued unabated.’
    • ‘The truck is part of the foundation of contemporary Bedouin livelihoods, and as such, it intertwines with the other processes of modernization described in this paper.’
    • ‘Within their luxurious 300 sq ft, you'll find an air conditioner/heater, Bedouin rugs and blankets on large beds, and a shower and lavatory.’
    • ‘The sand dunes had been nearly bare of vegetation and composed of completely open and mobile sand until 1982, because of heavy grazing by Bedouin herds.’
    • ‘The 23-year Russian describes how she was guided over the border by some Bedouin tribesmen.’
    • ‘In the recesses of their shops, they would furtively lift their veils as we bartered over Bedouin jewellery and Yemeni daggers.’
    • ‘A 40-minute coach ride led us to Bedouin tents, as much booze as you could muster and enough food to keep our South African friends very busy.’
    • ‘According to Bedouin custom, a person afflicted or harmed by the evil eye is cared for and cured by a woman healer - an elderly lady, or the mother or grandmother of the afflicted.’
    • ‘‘We've always reported criminals and dangerous characters who refuse to comply with Bedouin laws to the security forces,’ he said.’
    • ‘Spotting a simple black Bedouin tent, tiny as a tea leaf, at the base of an outcrop 500 times its height suddenly supplies a scale.’
    • ‘It is a rich visual rewind into the country's Bedouin past.’
    • ‘Jordanian food is based on traditional Bedouin cooking.’
    • ‘I recently stayed with some Bedouin tribes in Jordan, where the women did the bread-making while the men slaughtered and butchered the goat for us.’
    • ‘Scenes from Bedouin life will be performed and accompanied by the rahbab, a typical violin-like instrument, which will be played by a famous Jordanian musician.’


From Old French beduin, based on Arabic badawī, (plural) badawīn ‘dwellers in the desert’, from badw ‘desert’.