Last name origin & meaning:
Italian (Sicily): nickname for a teetotaler, Sicilian murabbitu, from Arabic murābịt ‘hermit’, ‘ascetic’.
According to the Genealogy Family Education website, this surname is actually a derivative of the Arabic surname of Murabit meaning hermit.
Facebook has a whole group devoted to this surname – Morabito.. more than a name, a way of life. with over 170 members and open content.
While searching the Ellis Island Website using my favourite search engine One Step Pages by Stephen Morse and using various spellings, I discovered the surname is most common in parts of Sicily and Reggio Calabria.
More : Morabit may derive from Arabic morabit “street preacher” but also a specific Arab leader in the 13th century1.
According to the RES website, the surname appears in 79 out of 380 towns in Calabria.
1. Sicilian Surnames – History and Onomatology
by Luigi Mendola