Also found in: Acronyms.
an ancient Arabic storyteller and reciter. The rawis apprenticed themselves to prominent pre-Islamic Arabic poets and memorized and recited their poetry, since custom forbade the writing down of poetic works. The rawis preserved these works by transmitting them orally from generation to generation; they were also the first collectors of Arabic poetry and folklore. For example, Hammad al-Rawiyah (eighth century) compiled the Muallaqat, an anthology of the most famous odes of seven pre-Islamic poets.