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Camel definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

CAMEL, n.
1. A large quadruped used in Asia and Africa for carrying burdens, and for riders. As genus, the camel belongs to the order of Pecora. The characteristics are; it has no horns; it has six fore teeth in the under jaw; the canine teeth are wide set, three in the upper and two in the lower jaw; and there is a fissure in the upper lip. The dromedary of Arabian camel, has one bunch on the back, four callous protuberances on the fore legs and two on the hind legs. The Bactrian camel has two bunches on the back. The Llama of South America is a smaller animal, with a smooth back, small head, fine black eyes, and very long neck. The Pacos or sheep of Chili his no bunch. Camels constitute the riches of an Arabian, without which he could neither subsist, carry on trade nor travel over sandy desarts. Their milk is his common food. By the camels power of sustaining abstinence rom drink, for many days, and of subsisting on a few coarse shrubs, he is peculiarly fitted for the parched and barren lands of Asia and Africa.
2. In Holland, Camel, [or Kameel, as Coxe writes it,] is a machine for lifting ships, and bearing them over the Pampus, at the mouth of the river Y, or over other bars. It is also used in other places, and particularly at the dock in Petersburg, to bear vessels over a bar to Cronstadt.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

n
1: cud-chewing mammal used as a draft or saddle animal in desert regions

Merriam Webster's

noun Etymology: Middle English, from Old English & Anglo-French, from Latin camelus, from Greek kam?los, of Semitic origin; akin to Hebrew g?m?l camel Date: before 12th century 1. either of two large ruminant mammals (genus Camelus) used as draft and saddle animals in desert regions especially of Africa and Asia: a. the one-humped camel (C. dromedarius) extant only as a domestic or feral animal called also dromedary b. the 2-humped camel (C. bactrianus syn. C. ferus) of Chinese Turkestan and Mongolia called also Bactrian camel 2. a watertight structure used especially to lift submerged ships 3. a light yellowish brown

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. 1 either of two kinds of large cud-chewing mammals having slender cushion-footed legs and one hump (Arabian camel, Camelus dromedarius) or two humps (Bactrian camel, Camelus bactrianus). 2 a fawn colour. 3 an apparatus for providing additional buoyancy to ships etc. Phrases and idioms: camel (or camel's) -hair 1 the hair of a camel. 2 a a fine soft hair used in artists' brushes. b a fabric made of this. Etymology: OE f. L camelus f. Gk kamelos, of Semitic orig.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Camel Cam"el, n. [Oe. camel, chamel, OF. camel, chamel, F. chameau L. camelus, fr. Gr. ?; of Semitic origin; cf. Heb. g[=a]m[=a]l, Ar. jamal. Cf. As. camel, fr. L. camelus.] 1. (Zo["o]l.) A large ruminant used in Asia and Africa for carrying burdens and for riding. The camel is remarkable for its ability to go a long time without drinking. Its hoofs are small, and situated at the extremities of the toes, and the weight of the animal rests on the callous. The dromedary (Camelus dromedarius) has one bunch on the back, while the Bactrian camel (C. Bactrianus) has two. The llama, alpaca, and vicu[~n]a, of South America, belong to a related genus (Auchenia). 2. (Naut.) A water-tight structure (as a large box or boxes) used to assist a vessel in passing over a shoal or bar or in navigating shallow water. By admitting water, the camel or camels may be sunk and attached beneath or at the sides of a vessel, and when the water is pumped out the vessel is lifted. Camel bird (Zo["o]l.), the ostrich. Camel locust (Zo["o]l.), the mantis. Camel's thorn (Bot.), a low, leguminous shrub (Alhagi maurorum) of the Arabian desert, from which exudes a sweetish gum, which is one of the substances called manna.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(camels) A camel is a large animal that lives in deserts and is used for carrying goods and people. Camels have long necks and one or two lumps on their backs called humps. the straw that broke the camel's back: see straw N-COUNT

Easton's Bible Dictionary

from the Hebrew _gamal_, "to repay" or "requite," as the camel does the care of its master. There are two distinct species of camels, having, however, the common characteristics of being "ruminants without horns, without muzzle, with nostrils forming oblique slits, the upper lip divided and separately movable and extensile, the soles of the feet horny, with two toes covered by claws, the limbs long, the abdomen drawn up, while the neck, long and slender, is bent up and down, the reverse of that of a horse, which is arched."

(1.) The Bactrian camel is distinguished by two humps. It is a native of the high table-lands of Central Asia.

(2.) The Arabian camel or dromedary, from the Greek _dromos_, "a runner" (Isa. 60:6; Jer. 2:23), has but one hump, and is a native of Western Asia or Africa.

The camel was early used both for riding and as a beast of burden (Gen. 24:64; 37:25), and in war (1 Sam. 30:17; Isa. 21:7). Mention is made of the camel among the cattle given by Pharaoh to Abraham (Gen. 12:16). Its flesh was not to be eaten, as it was ranked among unclean animals (Lev. 11:4; Deut. 14:7). Abraham's servant rode on a camel when he went to fetch a wife for Isaac (Gen. 24:10, 11). Jacob had camels as a portion of his wealth (30:43), as Abraham also had (24:35). He sent a present of thirty milch camels to his brother Esau (32:15). It appears to have been little in use among the Jews after the conquest. It is, however, mentioned in the history of David (1 Chr. 27:30), and after the Exile (Ezra 2:67; Neh. 7:69). Camels were much in use among other nations in the East. The queen of Sheba came with a caravan of camels when she came to see the wisdom of Solomon (1 Kings 10:2; 2 Chr. 9:1). Benhadad of Damascus also sent a present to Elisha, "forty camels' burden" (2 Kings 8:9).

To show the difficulty in the way of a rich man's entering into the kingdom, our Lord uses the proverbial expression that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle (Matt. 19:24).

To strain at (rather, out) a gnat and swallow a camel was also a proverbial expression (Matt. 23:24), used with reference to those who were careful to avoid small faults, and yet did not hesitate to commit the greatest sins. The Jews carefully filtered their wine before drinking it, for fear of swallowing along with it some insect forbidden in the law as unclean, and yet they omitted openly the "weightier matters" of the law.

The raiment worn by John the Baptist was made of camel's hair (Matt. 3:4; Mark 1:6), by which he was distinguished from those who resided in royal palaces and wore soft raiment. This was also the case with Elijah (2 Kings 1:8), who is called "a hairy man," from his wearing such raiment. "This is one of the most admirable materials for clothing; it keeps out the heat, cold, and rain." The "sackcloth" so often alluded to (2 Kings 1:8; Isa. 15:3; Zech. 13:4, etc.) was probably made of camel's hair.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

kam'-el (gamal; kamelos; bekher, and bikhrah (Isa 60:6; Jer 2:23 "dromedary," the American Revised Version, margin "young camel"), rekhesh (1Ki 4:28; see HORSE), kirkaroth (Isa 66:20, "swift beasts," the American Standard Revised ersion. "dromedaries"); bene ha-rammakhim (Es 8:10, "young dromedaries," the American Standard Revised Version "bred of the stud"); achashteranim (Es 8:10,14, the King James Version "camels," the American Standard Revised Version "that were used in the king's service")): There are two species of camel, the Arabian or one-humped camel or dromedary, Camelus dromedarius, and the Bactrian or two-humped camel, Camelus bactrianus. The latter inhabits the temperate and cold parts of central Asia and is not likely to have been known to Biblical writers. The Arabian camel inhabits southwestern Asia and northern Africa and has recently been introduced into parts of America and Australia. Its hoofs are not typical of ungulates but are rather like great claws. The toes are not completely separated and the main part of the foot which is applied to the ground is a large pad which underlies the proximal joints of the digits. It may be that this incomplete separation of the two toes is a sufficient explanation of the words "parteth not the hoof," in Le 11:4 and De 14:7. Otherwise these words present a difficulty, because the hoofs are completely separated though the toes are not. The camel is a ruminant and chews the cud like a sheep or ox, but the stomach possesses only three compartments instead of four, as in other ruminants. The first two compartments contain in their walls small pouches, each of which can be closed by a sphincter muscle. The fluid retained in these pouches may account in part for the power of the camel to go for a relatively long time without drinking.

The Arabian camel is often compared with justice to the reindeer of the Esquimaux. It furnishes hair for spinning and weaving, milk, flesh and leather, as well as being an of invaluable means of transportation in the arid desert. There are many Arabic names for the camel, the commonest of which is jamal (in Egypt gamal), the root being common to Arabic, Hebrew and other Semitic languages. From it the names in Latin, Greek, English and various European languages are derived. There are various breeds camels, as there are of horses. The riding camels or dromedaries, commonly called hajin, can go, even at a walk, much faster than the pack camels. The males are mostly used for carrying burdens, the females being kept with the herds. Camels are used to a surprising extent on the rough roads of the mountains, and one finds in the possession of fellachin in the mountains and on the littoral plain larger and stronger pack camels than are often found among the Bedouin. Camels were apparently not much used by the Israelites after the time of the patriarchs. They were taken as spoil of war from the Amalekites and other tribes, but nearly the only reference to their use by the later Israelites was when David was made king over all Israel at Hebron, when camels are mentioned among the animals used for bringing food for the celebration (1Ch 12:40). David had a herd of camels, but the herdsman was Obil, an Ishmaelite (1Ch 27:30). Nearly all the other Biblical references to camels are to those possessed by Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Ishmaelites, Amalekites, Midianites, Hagrites and the "children of the East" (see EAST). Two references to camels (Ge 12:16; Ex 9:3) are regarded as puzzling because the testimony of the Egyptian monuments is said to be against the presence of camels in ancient Egypt. For this reason, Ge 12-16, in connection with Abram's visit to Egypt, is turned to account by Canon Cheyne to substantiate his theory that the Israelites were not in Egypt but in a north Arabian land of Mucri (Encyclopaedia Biblica under the word "Camel," 4). While the flesh of the camel was forbidden to the Israelites, it is freely eaten by the Arabs. There are three references to the camel in New Testament:

(1) to John's raiment of camel's hair (Mt 3:4; Mr 1:6);

(2) the words of Jesus that "it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God" (Mt 19:24; Mr 10:25; Lu 18:25);

(3) the proverb applied to the Pharisees as blind guides, "that strain out the gnat, and swallow the camel" (Mt 23:24). Some manuscripts read ho kamilos, "a cable," in Mt 19:24 and Lu 18:25.

There are a few unusual words which have been translated "camel" in text or margin of one or the other version. (See list of words at beginning of the article) Bekher and bikhrah clearly mean a young animal, and the Arabic root word and derivatives are used similarly to the Hebrew. Rakhash, the root of rekhesh, is compared with the Arabic rakad, "to run," and, in the Revised Version (British and American), rekhesh is translated "swift steeds." Kirkaroth, rammakhim and 'achashteranim must be admitted to be of doubtful etymology and uncertain meaning.

Alfred Ely Day

Moby Thesaurus

Cape elk, Siberian husky, Virginia deer, antelope, ass, beast of burden, buck, camelopard, caribou, deer, deerlet, doe, draft animal, dromedary, eland, elephant, elk, fallow deer, fawn, gazelle, giraffe, gnu, hart, hartebeest, hind, horse, husky, kaama, llama, malamute, moose, mule, mule deer, musk deer, okapi, ox, pack horse, red deer, reindeer, roe, roe deer, roebuck, sledge dog, springbok, stag, sumpter, sumpter horse, sumpter mule, wildebeest



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