Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A member of a former military caste, originally composed of slaves from Turkey, that held the Egyptian throne from about 1250 until 1517 and remained powerful until 1811.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of a body of mounted soldiers recruited from slaves converted to Mohammedanism, who, during several centuries, had more or less control of the government of Egypt, until exterminated or dispersed by Mehemet Ali in 1811.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Any male servant or slave, usually a Circassian, belonging to the household or the retinue of a bey.
  • n. [capitalized] A member of a corps of cavalry formerly existing in Egypt, whose chiefs were long the sovereign rulers of the country.

Etymologies

French mameluk, from Arabic mamlūk, slave, Mameluke, passive participle of malaka, to possess; see mlk in Semitic roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • No sooner had we arrived than we were visited by certain Mameluke officials from the King of that city; who, after boarding us, greeted the merchants and giving them joy of safe arrival said, Our King welcometh you, and sendeth you this roll of paper, whereupon each and every of you must write a line.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • I lived in Damascus of Syria studying my art and, one day, as I was sitting at home behold, there came to me a Mameluke from the household of the Sahib and said to me, “Speak with my lord!”

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Mameluke is come back in safety and hath won his will and his aim.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • That is what the very word Mameluke means, and I am proud to be a Mameluke.

    The Saracen: Land of the Infidel

  • For the rank and file, the life of a Mameluke was a hard one, often ending in early death.

    The Saracen: Land of the Infidel

  • She was fashionably dressed in a green spencer, with 'Mameluke' sleeves, and wore a velvet Spanish hat and feather.

    The Trumpet-Major

  • At these words Hasan's heart flamed with the fire of bale, and his rose-red cheek turned pale, and he said to the "Mameluke," O my brother, is there time for me to go in and get me some worldly gear which may stand me in stead during my strangerhood? "

    Arabian nights. English

  • According to Jeffrey Nedoroscik, a researcher at the American University in Cairo, in Cairo's "City of the Dead" about a million people use Mameluke tombs as makeshift housing.

    Joseph A. Palermo: "Ripples of Hope" in Egypt

  • There are works in ivory and precious metals from all over the Islamic world and a 10-ton, 15th-century Mameluke porch.

    In Paris, Islamic Art Under a Flying Carpet

  • At its most formal, the ritual unfolds this way: The highest-ranking Marine present cuts a piece of the cake using a Mameluke sword, a ceremonial blade with cross hilt and ivory grip modeled on weapons used by Ottoman warriors.

    The Dream Machine

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  • In Tove Jansson's classic _Finn Family Moomintroll_ (English translation 1950), "Mameluke" is used for the name of a monstrous fish.

    August 21, 2011