Definition of Sabaean in US English:



  • A member of an ancient Semitic people who ruled Saba in southwestern Arabia until overrun by Persians and Arabs in the 6th century AD.

    • ‘The original script was probably common to the ancient Sabæans, Phœnicians, Aramæans and Hebrews.’
    • ‘Coins and religious relics show that the ancient Sabaeans, as Sheba’s subjects were known, worshipped multiple gods with the sun as the supreme deity.’
    • ‘The situation was somewhat more complicated than that proposed by Eratosthenes, but today the names for the races proposed by Eratosthenes, namely Minaeans, Sabaeans, Qatabanians, and Hadramites, are still used.’


  • Relating to the Sabaeans.

    • ‘Between the 12 th century BC and the 6th century AD, it was part of the Minaean, Sabaean, and Himyarite kingdoms, which controlled the lucrative spice trade, and later came under Ethiopian and Persian rule.’
    • ‘It issued its own currency and was a literate society with a unique language and script based on the Sabaean alphabet, related to that used in South Arabia and hence to Hebrew.’
    • ‘Some scholars think that there might have been a Sabaean tribe in the north of Arabia, toward Dedan.’


From Latin Sabaeus (from Greek Sabaios) + -an.