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  1. A group of nomadic people from the Sinai.
  2. dated: an Arab or any Muslim, especially one involved in the Crusades
  3. dated: A pirate in the Mediterranean.

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Saracen was a term widely used among Christian writers in Europe during the Middle Ages. The term's meaning evolved during its history. In the early centuries of the Common Era, Greek and Latin writings used this term to refer to the people who lived in desert areas in and near the Roman province of Arabia Petraea, and who were specifically distinguished from others as a people known as Arabs.

By the 12th century, "Saracen" had become synonymous with "Muslim" in Medieval Latin literature. Such expansion in the meaning of the term had begun centuries earlier among the Byzantine Greeks, as evidenced in documents from the 8th century. In the Western languages before the 16th century, "Saracen" was commonly used to refer to Muslim Arabs, and the words "Muslim" and "Islam" were generally not used (with a few isolated exceptions).

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