c. 1200, "holy man;" early 13c., "a native or resident of Nazareth," childhood home of Jesus, from Late Latin Nazarenus, from Greek Nazarenos, from Hebrew Natzerath. As an adjective from late 13c. As "a follower of Jesus" from late 14c. In Talmudic Hebrew notzri, literally "of Nazareth," meant "a Christian;" likewise Arabic Nasrani (plural Nasara). In Christian use, however, it can be a nickname for Jesus, or refer to an early Jewish Christian sect (1680s in English), or, in modern use, to a member of the Church of the Nazarene, a U.S.-based Protestant denomination (1898 in this sense).
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