"an Arab of the desert, one of the tribes of nomadic Arabs," c. 1400, from Old French bedüin (12c., Modern French bédouin), from colloquial Arabic badawin "desert-dwellers," plural of badawi, from badw "desert, camp." The Arabic plural suffix was mistaken for part of the word. A word from the Crusades, it probably was lost in English and then reborrowed from French c. 1600. As an adjective from 1844.
updated on April 26, 2017