Definitions

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

  • n. A member of a French infantry unit, originally composed of Algerian recruits, characterized by colorful uniforms and precision drilling.
  • n. A member of a group patterned after the French Zouaves, especially a member of such a unit of the Union Army in the U.S. Civil War.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. One of an active and hardy body of soldiers in the French service, originally Kabyle, but now composed of Frenchmen who wear the Kabyle dress.
  • n. Hence, one of a body of soldiers who adopt the dress and drill of the zouaves in French service, as was done by a number of volunteer regiments in the army of the United States in the Civil War, 1861-65.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of an active and hardy body of soldiers in the French service, originally Arabs, but now composed of Frenchmen who wear the Arab dress.
  • n. Hence, one of a body of soldiers who adopt the dress and drill of the Zouaves, as was done by a number of volunteer regiments in the army of the United States in the Civil War, 1861-65.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A soldier belonging to a corps of light infantry in the French army, distinguished for their dash, intrepidity, and hardihood, and for their peculiar drill and showy Oriental uniform.
  • n. A member of one of the volunteer regiments of the Union army in the American civil war (1861-5) which adopted the name and to some extent imitated the dress of the French Zouaves.

Etymologies

French, from Berber Zwāwa, an Algerian tribe.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French, from Arabic زواوي (zawāwiy). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • adds a whole new meaning to drilling (for what?)

    May 15, 2012