from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A member of a people of southern European Russia and adjacent parts of Asia, noted as cavalrymen especially during czarist times.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A member or descendant of an originally (semi-)nomadic population of Eastern Europe and the adjacent parts of Asia, that eventually settled in parts of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Russian tsarist Empire (where they constituted a legendary military caste) and the Soviet Union, particularly in areas now comprising southern Russia and Ukraine.
- n. A cossack, member of a military unit (typically cavalry, originally recruited exclusively from the above)
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. One of a warlike, pastoral people, skillful as horsemen, inhabiting different parts of the Russian empire and furnishing valuable contingents of irregular cavalry to its armies, those of Little Russia and those of the Don forming the principal divisions.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. One of a military people inhabiting the steppes of Russia along the lower Don and about the Dnieper, and in lesser numbers in eastern Russia, Caucasia, Siberia, and elsewhere.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a member of a Slavic people living in southern European Russia and Ukraine and adjacent parts of Asia and noted for their horsemanship and military skill; they formed an elite cavalry corps in czarist Russia
Russian kazak and Ukrainian kozak, both from South Turkic qazaq, adventurer; see Kazakh.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
1600, French cosaque, from Russian казак (kazák) and Ukrainian козак (kozák), from Turkish qazaq ("free man, wanderer"). (Wiktionary)