Hans Wehr Dict

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A

DICTIONARY OF MODERN WRITTEN ARABIO

HANS WEHR

A DICTIONARYOF

MODERN WRITTEN ARABICEDITEDBYJ

MILTON COWANTHIRD EDITION

Spoken Language

Services, Inc.

r

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data

Wehr, Hans (Date)

A

dictionary of

modern written

Arabic.

"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.

"

I.

Cowan,

Arabic language-Dictionaries English. J Milton. II. Title.0-87950-001-8

[PJ6640.W43 1976] 492'.7'321 75-24236

ISBN

Otto Harrauowltz, Wiesbaden 1961, 1066, 1971 Spoken Language Services, Inc. 1976

Spoken LanguageP.O.Ithaca,

Services, Inc.

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,

the Arabian

American Oil Company, and Cornell

University.

Americanare

This dictionary will be welcome not only to English and users, but to orientalists throughout the world who

more

at

home with English than with German.

It is

more

accurate

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,

New

York

J

Milton Cowan

November 1960

Preface to

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

A

Dictionary of

Modern

W ritten Arabic in

handy, comprehensive and unabridged version.

Mnsterlthaca,

Hans WehrYorkJ

New

Milton Cowan

February 1976

Introduction

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

same

in all

Arab ooun-

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

Arab world.

medium

of

oommunicatkm over the vaatit

geographica! area whoee numeroua and widely diverser local dialectait

tranaoends. Indeed,

gives the

Arab people of many

countriea a Bense of identity

and an awarenesa of their common

culturaJ heritage.

Two

powerful and conflioiing forces have affected the development of the modern Arabio

lexicon.

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

better and

more

correct than

any

later form.

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

new

linguiatic material

whioh has had to be inoorporated into the language to

makeof

it

ourrent with advances in world knowledge.writers, especially in the fields of Bcience

The

result is Been in the

tendency

many

and teohnology, simply

to

adopt foreignthe various

words from the European languagea.colloquial dialects

have

also

found their

Many common, everyday expressions from way into written expression.

From

its

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

it

not only

liste claasical

words and phrasea of elegant rhe-

by

side with

new

coinages that confonn to the

demands of the

puriata,

but

also oontains neologiama, loan tranalations, foreign loans,

and colloquialiama which may not

be to the linguistio taste ofterials

manyia

educated Arabs. But since they occur in the corpus of mabased, they are inoluded here.

on which the diotionary

Introduction

VIII

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,

many

public institutions, offices,

and administrativeis

diotionary

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

A

Arab world.

It

reaches large sections of the population daily

and

constitutes to

them almost the only stylistiohence easily covered in a

norm.

Its

vocabulary

is

relatively small

and

fairly Btandardized,

dictionary.

standardized.

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

serious linguistiofor

which no words

Arabic exist. The creation of a

soientifio

and technological terminology

is still

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

common

usage. Specialists in

all fields

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.

field

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

of knowledge.

underestimated the

difficulties of artificial regulation ofit

The aoademies have,