Arabic for unbeliever, heretic, apostate, pagan, athiest, infidel, heathen, or any such word that has to do with not believing in god.

Derived from the three letter root verb, Kaf Fa Ra, meaning to block, to cover. In pre Islamic Arabic poetry and writing, one would find passages like, "kafara (covered) al hofra (the hole)." In modern times, Kafar also mean car tyres because it blocks and cover the air in the tyre.

It almost sound like the English cover both in meaning and pronounciation!

Kaf"fir (?), Ka"fir (?), n. [Ar. kfir infidel, pagan, fr. kafara to be skeptical in religious matters; -- a name given to certain infidel races by the Mohammedans. Cf. Giaour.] Ethnol. (a)

One of a race which, with the Hottentots and Bushmen, inhabit South Africa. They inhabit the country north of Cape Colony, the name being now specifically applied to the tribes living between Cape Colony and Natal; but the Zulus of Natal are true Kaffirs.


One of a race inhabiting Kafiristan in Central Asia.

[Spelt also Caffre.]

Kaffir corn Bot., a Cape Colony name for Indian millet.


© Webster 1913.

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