a region in N Africa, extending from W of Egypt to the Atlantic Ocean and including the former Barbary States.
Contemporary Examples

We fought our first foreign war in Algiers to defeat the Barbary pirates.
The Algeria Powder Keg Bruce Riedel January 20, 2013

Historical Examples

I remarked to him, that every time I had passed that way, I found cause to fear our being windbound on the coasts of Barbary.
Perils and Captivity Charlotte-Adlade [ne Picard] Dard

Mediation of France with the Barbary powers in favor of America.
The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, Vol. I Various

The squirrels of Barbary, Switzerland, and the palmist, are three species very much like each other.
Buffon’s Natural History. Volume VII (of 10) Georges Louis Leclerc de Buffon

Also, small edifices on Barbary headlands, occupied by a priest.
The Sailor’s Word-Book William Henry Smyth

For instance, of Barbary–the lions do not live in deserts; they live in woods.
First and Last H. Belloc

I learned it in Barbary, when I was a prisoner amongst the Moors.
Roundabout Papers William Makepeace Thackeray

Here they live, in independent poverty, secure from the tyrannical government of Barbary.
Travels in the Interior of Africa, Vol. 1 [of 2] Mungo Park

This is the Aoudad, which dwells in the mountains of Barbary.
Quadrupeds, What They Are and Where Found Mayne Reid

One of these boats, in which was the pretty French girl, was captured by Barbary corsairs, who sold her to the Sultan.
The Lion of Janina Mr Jkai

a historic name for a region of N Africa extending from W Egypt to the Atlantic and including the former Barbary States of Tripolitania, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco

c.1300, “foreign lands” (especially non-Christian lands), from Latin barbaria (see barbarian). Meaning “Saracens living in coastal North Africa” is attested from 1590s, via French (Old French barbarie), from Arabic Barbar, Berber, ancient Arabic name for the inhabitants of North Africa beyond Egypt. Perhaps a native name, perhaps an Arabic word, from barbara “to babble confusedly,” but this might be ultimately from Greek barbaria. “The actual relations (if any) of the Arabic and Gr[eek] words cannot be settled; but in European langs. barbaria, Barbarie, Barbary, have from the first been treated as identical with L. barbaria, Byzantine Gr[eek] barbaria land of barbarians” [OED].


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    a tailless macaque, Macaca sylvanus, of mountain ranges in northwestern Africa, now greatly reduced in number: a small, managed colony of unknown origin is maintained on the Rock of Gibraltar. Historical Examples The magot is sometimes known as the Barbary ape, although of course it is not really an ape at all. The Animal World, […]

  • Barbary coast

    the Mediterranean coastline of the former Barbary States: former pirate refuge. the waterfront district of San Francisco in the 19th century, notorious for its cheap bars and nightclubs, prostitutes, gambling houses, and high incidence of crime. Historical Examples He found a squalid wine-shop in the quarter just below the Barbary Coast. The Best Short Stories […]

  • Barbary coast wars

    wars fought along the coast of North Africa 1801–15 over the harassment of U.S. ships despite the payment of tribute money to the piratical Barbary States.

  • Barbary fig

    prickly pear. Historical Examples The Barbary fig, or prickly-pear cactus, is everywhere in Algeria and Tunisia. In the Land of Mosques & Minarets Francis Miltoun

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