DICTIONARY OF MODERN WRITTEN ARABIO
MODERN WRITTEN ARABICEDITEDBYJ
MILTON COWANTHIRD EDITION
Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data
Wehr, Hans (Date)
"An enlarged and improved version of 'Arabisches Wrterbuch fr die Schriftsprache der Gegenwart' and includes the Contents of the 'Supplement zum Arabischen Wrterbuch fr dieSchriftsprache der Gegenwart.'1.
Arabic language-Dictionaries English. J Milton. II. Title.0-87950-001-8
[PJ6640.W43 1976] 492'.7'321 75-24236
Otto Harrauowltz, Wiesbaden 1961, 1066, 1971 Spoken Language Services, Inc. 1976
Box 783 New York 148S0
PrefaceShortly after the publication of Professor Hans Wehr's Arabisches Wrterbuch fr die Schriftsprache der Gegenwart
Committee on Language Programs of the American Council of Learned Societies recognized its excellence and began to explore means of providing an up-to-date English edition. Professor Wehr and I readily reached agreement on a plan to translate, edit, and enlarge the dictionary. This task was considerably lightened and hastened by generous financial support from the American Council of Learned Soin 1952, thecieties,
American Oil Company, and Cornell
This dictionary will be welcome not only to English and users, but to orientalists throughout the world who
home with English than with German.
and much more comprehensive than the original version, which was produced under extremely unfavorable conditions in Germany during the late war years and the earlypostwar period.lthaca,
The Pocket-Book Edition
In Order to meet the enormous increase of interest in Arabic brought about by political, economic and social develop-
ments of the past decade, we have now published our 3rdRevised Edition ofthis
W ritten Arabic in
handy, comprehensive and unabridged version.
Thi diotionary presents the vocabulary and phraseology of modern mitten Arabic. It is based an the form of the language wbich, throughout the Arab world from Iraq to Moroooo, is found in the proee of books, newapapers, periodicals, and letters. This form is also empioyed informal public address, over radio and television, and in religious ceremonial, The diotionary willbe most usefuJ to those working with writinga that have appeared aince the turn of the Century.
The morphology and syntaxtriea.
of written Arabio are esaentially the
Vocabulary differences are limited mainly to the domain of apecialized vocabulary. Thuait
the written language contmnea, aslinguistio unity of the
haa done throughout centuriea of the paat, to ensure theIt provides a
oommunicatkm over the vaatit
geographica! area whoee numeroua and widely diverser local dialectait
Arab people of many
countriea a Bense of identity
and an awarenesa of their common
powerful and conflioiing forces have affected the development of the modern Arabio
A reform movement originating toward the end of the last Century in Syria and Lebanon haa reawakened and popularized the old conviotion of educated Arabs that the ancient 'arabiya of pre-Islamio times, which became the classical form of the language kl theis
early centuries of Islam,puristic doctrine
Proponenta of this
have held that new vocabulary muat be derived exoluaively in accordance with ancient modela or by aemant extension of older forma. They have insiBted on the replacement of all foreign loanwords with purely Arabio forma and expressiona. The puriatahave had conaiderable influence on the development of modern literary Arabio although there haa been widespread protest againat their extreme point of view. At the same time
and under the inoreaaing influence of Western civization, Arab writers and jouroalists have had to deal with a host of new concepts and ideas previously alien to the Arab way of life. Aa aetual usage demonstrates, the puriats have been unable to eope with the aheerbulk of
whioh has had to be inoorporated into the language to
ourrent with advances in world knowledge.writers, especially in the fields of Bcience
result is Been in the
and teohnology, simply
adopt foreignthe various
words from the European languagea.colloquial dialects
Many common, everyday expressions from way into written expression.
inception, thia diotionary haa been oompiled on acientifio descriptive principlea.
It oontains only
worda and expressiona which were found in context during the course of
wide reading in literature of every kind or which, on the basis of other evidence, can be shownto be unqueationably a part of the present-day vocabulary. It ia a faithful record of the language ae attested by usage rather than a normative presentation of what theoretically
ought to occur. Consequently,torical style aideit
words and phrasea of elegant rhe-
coinages that confonn to the
demands of the
also oontains neologiama, loan tranalations, foreign loans,
and colloquialiama which may not
be to the linguistio taste ofterials
educated Arabs. But since they occur in the corpus of mabased, they are inoluded here.
on which the diotionary
loxicographer dealing with preaent-day Arabio. knowledge, especially those which have developed outside the Arab world, no generally accepted terminology has yet emerged, it is evident that a practicalSince for
A number of special problems oonfront themanyfields of
dictionary can only approximate the degree of completeneas found in comparable dictionaries
of Western languages. Local terminology, especially fortitles,
public institutions, offices,
has developed in the several Arab countries. Although the based mainly on usage in the countries bordering on the eastern Mediterranean,affairs,
and administrative terms have been included for all Arab countries, but not with equal thoroughness. Colloquialisms and dialect expreasions that have gained ourrenoy in written fonn also vary from country to country. Certainly no attempt at completeneas canlooal official
be made here, and the user working with materials having a maxked regional flavor will be well advised to refer to an appropriate dialeot diotionary or glossary. As a rule, items derived fromlocal dialecte or limited to looal use
have been so designated with appropriate abbreviations.
normalized journalistio style has evolved for faotual reporting of news or discussion of mattere of political and topical interest over the radio and in the press. Thia style, whichoften betrays Western influences, is remarkably uniform throughout the
reaches large sections of the population daily
them almost the only stylistiohence easily covered in a
The vocabulary of scientific and teohnological writingB, on the other hand, is by no means The impact of Western oivilization has confronted the Arab world with theproblem of expressing a vast and ever-inoreasing number of new conceptsin
which no words
Arabic exist. The creation of a
and technological terminology
a major intellectual ohallenge. Reluctance to borrow wholesale from European languages
has spurred efforts to coin terms according to productive Arabic patterns. In recent decades innumerable such words have been suggested in various periodioals and in special publications.Relatively few of these have gained acceptance in
usage. Specialists in
keep coining new terms that are either not understood by other specialists in the sameor are rejeoted in favor of other, equally short-lived, private fabrications.
to a lesser eztent, the Iraqi
The Academy of the Arabio Language in Gairo especially, the Damascus Aoademy, and, Academy have produoed and continue to publish vast numbersall fields
of technical terms for almost
difficulties of artificial regulation ofit
The aoademies have,