Definition of dragoman in US English:



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

    • ‘Some other friends, also travelling in Libya this October, reported by fax that they were delighted by their ‘Brilliant dragoman speaking very good English.’’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’.