from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An imposition by the (Turkish) government; compulsory tax; government exaction; “aid,” “benevolence” (Marsh); specifically (as applied by Christians), an extortionate exaction or tax levied by the Turks.
  • n. An imposition or tax levied by Turkish officials on merchants; as generally considered, an extortionate tax.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • I had to combat against this story at almost every place, but I was nowhere so rudely received as at this village, where I escaped ill treatment only by assuming a very imposing air, and threatening with many oaths, that if I lost a single hair of my beard, the Pasha would levy an avania of many purses on the village.

    Travels in Syria and the Holy Land


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