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.
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)