Also found in: Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


One of a group of Spanish Christians who adopted certain aspects of Moorish culture but continued to practice Christianity when Muslim rulers governed southern Spain.

[Spanish Mozárabe, from Arabic musta'rib, would-be Arab, active participle of ista'raba, to become an Arab, adopt Arabic customs, from 'arab, Arab.]
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. (Peoples) (formerly) a Christian of Moorish Spain
2. (Historical Terms) (formerly) a Christian of Moorish Spain
[C18: via Spanish from Arabic musta'rib a would-be Arab]
Mozˈarabic adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(moʊˈzær əb)

a Christian in Moorish Spain.
[1780–90; < Sp mozárabe < Arabic musta‘rib one assimilated to the Arabs]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


[mɒzˈærəb] Nmozárabe mf
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
In this regard, the Historia Silense was the first Latin text to transmit the story, of probable Mozarab origin, of a certain Visigothic count Julian who, in order to take revenge on Roderic who had raped his daughter, planned with the sons of former king Wittiza 'the introduction of the Moors [...] to cause the ruin of the whole kingdom of Spain'.
BEALE-RIVAYA, Y., <<The history and evolution of the term "mozarab">>, Imago Temporis.
The period was defined, in part, by cultural symbiosis: "Jews were deeply rooted in the local society, alongside the Arabs, Berbers, and Mozarab Christians," writes Claudia Roden in The Book of Jewish Food.
Thus we have a painting of the year 1067 by a Mozarab from Islamic Toledo, showing the Annunciation, with decorations that recall Islamic architectural detail from the Great Mosque of Cordoba in a picture that is otherwise very un-Islamic.
(44) Popular lyric poetry (evident in the famous jarchas) was so common among the Hispano-Visigoths living as dhimmi under Muslim rule ("Mozarabs") as to be incorporated into the classic Arabic poetry of the muwassahah (muwashshah), a poetic form invented by a Mozarab, Muccadam de Cabra, m the ninth century.
While Mozarab verse with non-Christian ideas about sex influenced some Provencal poets, few if any of these poets were Cathari heretics, and such Arabic influence as can be demonstrated was in any case more formal and metrical than topical.
Like the Mozarab Christians of early medieval Spain, they embrace the Islamo-Arab culture of the Middle East as their own and speak of Christian-Muslim dialogue as their vocation.
The yeasty culture of Arabized but freely worshipping Christians and Jews was known as mozarab, which Menocal delightfully translates as "wanna-be Arab." But this "culture of tolerance" fell apart, Menocal explains, when "more puritanical visions of [Muslim and Christian] cultures converged." Ousted by more fundamentalist Muslims, the Umayyad dynasty collapsed against a backdrop of Christian "Reconquest," and, beginning in 1095, the Crusades.
Burman's thesis is that the Mozarab authors of these works were well versed in a number of theological traditions, and they drew their arguments from a wide variety of sources, both Christian and Muslim.
The population included Arabs, who at the beginning of their occupation of Andalusia were a minority, but then quickly increased their numbers; Berbers, who played an important role in occupying Andalusia, as they formed the majority of the army presided over by Andalusia's conquistador, Tarek Ibn Ziyad; Muladies, or Iberians who converted to Islam after the Arab-Muslim occupation; Mozarabs, the Iberian Christians living under the Moorish rule who learned Arabic and its literature, having a great role in transmitting the Arab-Islamic culture to the Christian kingdoms; and Jews were also aplenty.