Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An interpreter or guide in countries where Arabic, Turkish, or Persian is spoken.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An interpreter, especially for the Arabic and Turkish languages.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An interpreter; -- so called in the Levant and other parts of the East.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An interpreter
  • n. An interpreter attached to an embassy or a consulate. The term is in general use among travelers in the Levant and other parts of the East.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an interpreter and guide in the Near East; in the Ottoman Empire in the 18th and 19th centuries a translator of European languages for the Turkish and Arab authorities and most dragomans were Greek (many reached high positions in the government)

Etymologies

Middle English dragman, from Old French drugeman, from Medieval Latin dragumannus, from Medieval Greek dragoumanos, from Arabic tarjumān, from Aramaic targəmānā, from Akkadian targumannu, interpreter; see rgm in Semitic roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English dragman, from Old French drugeman, from Medieval Latin dragumannus, from Medieval Greek δραγομάνος, from Arabic ترجمان (turgumán, "translator, interpreter"). Compare truchman. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • When his memory failed him he called his dragoman and began an Arabic lesson.

    Sister Teresa

  • The 'dragoman' establishments are much more attached to old ideas than Turks and

    Persia Revisited

  • She was not very nervous about this, but she immediately called the dragoman, Mahomet, who knew the use of a gun, and she asked him if he would stand by her in case they were attacked in my absence; the faithful servant replied, "Mahomet fight the

    Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern — Volume 3

  • [Footnote 327: Or interpreter, now commonly called dragoman, druggeman, or trucheman, all of which are corruptions from the Arabic

    A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 08

  • Winston wins Aneth, but the person who makes everything work out in the end is Tadros the dragoman.

    Archive 2009-02-01

  • Tadros, a dragoman, whom we first see smoking a cigarette and twirling his moustache.

    Archive 2009-02-01

  • Lady Duff Gordon settles in Luxor, in a small household consisting of Sally and the resourceful Egyptian dragoman they found they needed to deal with the intricacies of a different culture.

    Arabian Nights « Tales from the Reading Room

  • “Miss Naldrett tells me she can make you better, Sitti,” says our dragoman.

    The Mistress of Nothing

  • We saw the great medieval mosque, Ibn Tulun, where we watched our dragoman remove his shoes, wash his feet, and kneel down to pray, and Khan el-Khalili, the enormous bazaar, where my Lady was treated like a visiting dignitary.

    The Mistress of Nothing

  • She nodded and waved her hand to show she trusted her dragoman to make his own decisions regarding his faith, and that she was not to be swayed by reminders of me.

    The Mistress of Nothing

Comments

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  • "For all his sentimentality about gentlemanly chivalry, Lord doesn't shy away from what the sinking and its aftermath revealed about the era's privileges and prejudices. "Even the passengers' dogs were glamorous," begins a tongue-in-cheek catalogue in "A Night to Remember" that includes a Pekingese named Sun Yatsen—part of the entourage of Henry Harper, of the publishing family, who, Lord laconically reports, had also picked up an Egyptian dragoman during his preëmbarkation travels, "as a sort of joke.""
    - "Unsinkable" by Daniel Mendelsohn, p 68 of the April 16, 2012 issue of the New Yorker

    April 18, 2012

  • "Sciahan spoke through a Modlavian dragoman, telling Jack about the Syrian campaign in 1799..."
    --Patrick O'Brian, The Ionian Mission, 325

    February 14, 2008