Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


n. pl. Mo·ris·cos or Mo·ris·coes
A Spanish Moor who converted to Christianity after the Reconquista.

[Spanish, from Moro, Moor, from Latin Maurus; see Moor.]

Mo·ris′co adj.


(məˈrɪskəʊ) or


n, pl -cos or -coes
1. (Peoples) a Spanish Moor
2. (Dancing) a morris dance
(Architecture) another word for Moorish
[C16: from Spanish, from Moro Moor]


(məˈrɪs koʊ)

n., pl. -cos, -coes.
a member of the Muslim communities of Spain that continued to practice Islam secretly after its proscription.
[1540–50; < Sp, =mor(o) Moor + -isco adj. suffix]
References in classic literature ?
One day, as I was in the Alcana of Toledo, a boy came up to sell some pamphlets and old papers to a silk mercer, and, as I am fond of reading even the very scraps of paper in the streets, led by this natural bent of mine I took up one of the pamphlets the boy had for sale, and saw that it was in characters which I recognised as Arabic, and as I was unable to read them though I could recognise them, I looked about to see if there were any Spanish-speaking Morisco at hand to read them for me; nor was there any great difficulty in finding such an interpreter, for even had I sought one for an older and better language I should have found him.
I withdrew at once with the Morisco into the cloister of the cathedral, and begged him to turn all these pamphlets that related to Don Quixote into the Castilian tongue, without omitting or adding anything to them, offering him whatever payment he pleased.
Harrison is unique in describing with passionate sincerity the Morisco expulsion: Having mixed with them, listened to their horror stories, he could not but sympathize; and, Biblicist that he was, having read about the exile of Jews in the book of Isaiah, he immediately made the link between the Biblical, the 1492, and the Morisco exiles.
DURING the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, a small yet politically influential group of Morisco writers sought to challenge Old Christian Spain's perception of their culture as something inferior and alien to the Peninsula.
On the first point, Harris follows recent Spanish scholarship in identifying the likely forgers as members of Granada's Morisco community, the population of forcibly converted Muslims who, since Granada's reconquest in 1492, had struggled to be accepted in the new Catholic society without entirely renouncing their Muslim heritage.
In the Second Part of Henry VI, York praises the "stubborn Cade," the rebellious upstart pretending to the throne, whom he has seen "caper upright like a wild Morisco, / Shaking the bloody darts as he his bells" (3.
A major problem is that he offers many records of the words morisco and morris.
A MOST likely explanations are that it is a corruption of the words Moorish or Morisco (a derogatory term for little Moor) as the most ancient form involved the dancers painting their faces black.
musette d'Allemaigne, cornet d'Allemaigne, l'eschaquir d'Engletre, chevrecte d'Esclavonnie, cythara teutonica and cythara anglica, rabe morisco, guitarra morisca and guitarra latina, guitarra sarracenica, cor sarrazinios, cornet sarrazinoas, but also the ala bohemica or fleuthe de Behaingne.
Written in Cide Hamete's Arabic, it requires this second author to hire a Morisco to translate it.
The only woman identified as a Morisca in this collection must have been a very well assimilated Catholic, because she was still in Spain more than a decade after the Morisco expulsion of 1609-1611 (180).