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Ish·ma·el 1

 (ĭsh′mē-əl, -mā-)
In the Bible, the son of Abraham who was cast out after the birth of Isaac. He is traditionally considered to be the forebear of the Arabs.

Ish·ma·el 2

 (ĭsh′mē-əl, -mā-)
An outcast.

[After Ishmael.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Bible) the son of Abraham and Hagar, Sarah's handmaid: the ancestor of 12 Arabian tribes (Genesis 21:8–21; 25:12–18)
2. (Bible) a bandit chieftain, who defied the Babylonian conquerors of Judah and assassinated the governor appointed by Nebuchadnezzar (II Kings 25:25; Jeremiah 40:13–41:18)
3. (Literary & Literary Critical Terms) rare an outcast
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈɪʃ mi əl, -meɪ-)

1. the son of Abraham and Hagar: both he and Hagar were cast out of Abraham's family by Sarah. Gen. 16:11, 12.
2. outcast; pariah.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Ishmael - (Old Testament) the son of Abraham who was cast out after the birth of IsaacIshmael - (Old Testament) the son of Abraham who was cast out after the birth of Isaac; considered the forebear of 12 Arabian tribes
Old Testament - the collection of books comprising the sacred scripture of the Hebrews and recording their history as the chosen people; the first half of the Christian Bible
2.Ishmael - a person who is rejected (from society or home)
unfortunate, unfortunate person - a person who suffers misfortune
heretic, misbeliever, religious outcast - a person who holds religious beliefs in conflict with the dogma of the Roman Catholic Church
leper - a pariah who is avoided by others
Harijan, untouchable - belongs to lowest social and ritual class in India
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
They had already begun to feel themselves on dangerous ground in keeping along it, as they might be descried by some scouts and spies of that race of Ishmaelites, whose predatory life required them to be constantly on the alert.
They are Ishmaelites of the first order, always with weapon in hand, ready for action.
So East and Tom, the Tadpole, and one or two more, became a sort of young Ishmaelites, their hands against every one, and every one's hand against them.
The unfortunate bee-hunter and his companions had become the captives of a people, who might, without exaggeration, be called the Ishmaelites of the American deserts.
This feeling had been accentuated by the Ishmaelite life he had led from his puppyhood.
there is but one road to the favour of a Christian, and how can the poor Jew find it, whom extortions have already reduced to the misery of Lazarus?'' Then, as if suspicion had overpowered his other feelings, he suddenly exclaimed, ``For the love of God, young man, betray me not for the sake of the Great Father who made us all, Jew as well as Gentile, Israelite and Ishmaelite do me no treason!
As the most hardened Arab that ever careered across the desert over the hump of a dromedary likes to repose sometimes under the date-trees by the water, or to come into the cities, walk into the bazaars, refresh himself in the baths, and say his prayers in the mosques, before he goes out again marauding, so Jos's tents and pilau were pleasant to this little Ishmaelite. She picketed her steed, hung up her weapons, and warmed herself comfortably by his fire.
It records Forder's life story for thirteen years amongst the Ishmaelites of Moab, Edom, and the great peninsula of Arabia.
It is attested that at least some of those texts made use of Arabic historiographical sources, (12) and Muslims are everywhere in the work of medieval Iberian historians, as Saracens, Hagarenes, Ishmaelites, Moors or Arabs--among the many ethnic labels, some of them archaic or even anachronistic, used to name them collectively.
And on this [legal precedence] our rabbi Moses relied to be a physician in Egypt for the Ishmaelites [=Muslims]" (Sefer Mitzvot Gadol, Jerusalem: Mechon Jerusalem and Mechon Shlomo Uman, 2003, Lo ta'ase, siman 45, p.
It offers a helpful account of the history of such designations of Muslims as tayyaye (an ethnonym derived from the Arab tribe of tayyi?; originally a generic term for "nomadic Arabs," which gradually came to mean "Muslims"), hanpe (pagans), bnay Ishmahel or Ishmahelaye (sons of Ishmael or Ishmaelites), mhaggraye (Hagarenes), and, very rarely, mashlmane (Muslims).
And then King David lists all the nations: 'The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites.