Spanish Pronto!: Arabic Words in Spanish

Some of the hundreds of derived-from-Arabic words still used in Spanish today. These are some of the more common ones.

For a list of about 1,400 of these words (without definitions), see: Patrimonio lingüístico de origen árabe en el idioma español. NOTE: Many of the words listed at that site are not generally accepted as being derived from Arabic. You should consult independent sources to verify their etymology. The list below has been corrected based on reader comments, but still may not yet be entirely accurate.

For more Spanish information and resources, see the Spanish Pronto! main page.


aceite (m.)oil
aceitunaolive
adobe (m.)adobe (sun-dried brick)
aduanacustoms, customs house
ajedrez (m.)chess
Alá (m.)Allah (God)
alacenacupboard, closet
alacrán (m.)scorpion
albacoraalbacore (tuna)
albahacabasil
albaricoque (m.)apricot
albóndigameatball
alcaldemayor
alcancíacoin bank
alcaparracaper
alcachofaartichoke, shower head
alcobabedroom
alcohol (m.)alcohol
Alcorán (m.)Qur'an (Koran)
aldeavillage
alfalfaalfalfa
alfiler (m.)pin
alfombracarpet
algodón (m.)cotton
algoritmoalgorithm (problem-solving method)
alguacilsheriff
almacén (m.)store, warehouse, grocery
almanaque (m.)almanac
almíbar (m.)syrup
almiranteadmiral
almohadapillow, cushion
alquiler (m.)rent
arrecife (m.)reef
arroz (m.)rice
atalayawatchtower (f.), guard (m.)
ataúd (m.)coffin, casket
atún (m.)tuna
ayatolá (m.)ayatollah
azafrán (m.)saffron
azar (m.)al azar = at random
azote (m.)whip
azúcar (m. or f.)sugar
barrioneighborhood
berenjenaeggplant
café (m.)coffee
califa (m.)caliph
cerozero
cifranumeral, figure, amount, sum
cimitarrascimitar
cuzcuz (m.)couscous
dadodie (pl. dice)
dinar (m.)dinar
fulanoso-and-so
guitarraguitar
harén (m.)harem
hastauntil (prep.), even (adv.)
hazañafeat
imán (m.)imam
islam (m.)Islam
jabalí (m.)wild boar
jaque (m.)check (in chess)
jaquecamigraine
jarabe (m.)syrup
jinete (m.)horseman
jirafagiraffe
limalime
limón (m.)lemon
marfil (m.)ivory*
máscaramask
mesquitamosque
momiamummy
mono, amonkey, ape
naranjaorange
nenúfar (m.)water lily
¡ojalá!I hope!, God willing!
ramadán (m.)Ramadan
rehénhostage
rincón (m.)corner
sandíawatermelon
sorbete (m.)sherbet
talcotalc
tamarindotamarind
tambor (m.)drum
tareatask, assignment
tarifatariff, rate
tazacup
toronjagrapefruit
trujamáninterpreter or translator
zanahoriacarrot
  

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URL:http://www.spanishpronto.com/spanishpronto/arabicglossary.html
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Revised -- 2014-09-23