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n. pl. Mar·ra·nos Offensive
Used as a disparaging term for a Converso.

[Spanish, pig, Marrano (from the Jewish prohibition against eating pork), probably from Arabic maḥram, something forbidden, from ḥarama, to forbid; see x̣rm in Semitic roots.]


n, pl -nos
(Judaism) a Spanish or Portuguese Jew of the late Middle Ages who was converted to Christianity, esp one forcibly converted but secretly adhering to Judaism
[from Spanish, literally: pig, with reference to the Jewish prohibition against eating pig meat]


(məˈrɑ noʊ)

n., pl. -nos.
a Spanish or Portuguese Jew forced to convert to Christianity during the late Middle Ages.
[< Sp: literally, pig, from the Jewish law forbidding the eating of pork]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Marrano - (medieval Spain and Portugal) a disparaging term for a Jew who converted to Christianity in order to avoid persecution but continued to practice their religion secretly
Converso - (medieval Spain and Portugal) a Jew or Moor who professed to convert to Christianity in order to avoid persecution or expulsion
References in periodicals archive ?
Though the Nazis offered rewards for information on hidden Jews, no one had given us away.
Michael Freund, the founder and chairman of Shavei Israel, a Jerusalem-based nonprofit that has been working for nearly 15 years with the hidden Jews of Poland, warned that "regardless of this attempt to obfuscate history, Poland cannot hide from its anti-Semitic past.
In the early 1960s, a team of anthropologists introduced the Western world to the hidden Jews of the Algerian Sahara.
Fishbane was there shadowing Michael Freund, an Orthodox Jew who is something of a savior to these people and who has spent 17 years working to bring hidden Jews and descendants of Lost Tribes back into the fold.
The authorities demanded that Pastor Trocme and his loyal deputy Edouard Theis lead them to any hidden Jews.
Peter Bloch told me that Francisco Franco's full name included the name Bahamonde which was the name of his mother's family reputed to have been hidden Jews.
Because of centuries of lack of knowledge, we hidden Jews need to go through a formal process.
Dr Pearson, 61, said: "As there is so little information available, the topic could almost be called 'the hidden Jews of Huddersfield.
One Benheim survivor, a woman named Ilse Loew, tells Schwartz about a woman from Holland she met recently who had hidden Jews during the war: "One day someone knocked on her door--it was either the Dutch police or a Nazi-and demanded she hand over the Jews.
The "fear" of the title can be interpreted as belonging to various groups: Obviously, the surviving Polish Jews, who were subject to abuse, intimidation, and murder; the Righteous Poles who were afraid of the consequences if their neighbors knew they had hidden Jews during the war (the neighbors might have murdered them in hopes of digging up the mythic Jewish wealth their neighbors must have appropriated); and the Poles who had benefited from the dispossession of the Jews and were, at some level, fearful of the survivors who reminded "them of the fragility of their own existence, of the propensity for violence residing in their own communities, and of their own helplessness vis-a-vis the [Communist] agents .