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A member of a people of southern European Russia and adjacent parts of Asia. Many Cossacks served as cavalrymen in the armies of the czars.
[Russian kazak and Ukrainian kozak, both from South Turkic qazaq, adventurer; see Kazakh.]
(Historical Terms) (formerly) any of the free warrior-peasants of chiefly East Slavonic descent who lived in communes, esp in Ukraine, and served as cavalry under the tsars
(Historical Terms) of, relating to, or characteristic of the Cossacks: a Cossack dance.
[C16: from Russian kazak vagabond, of Turkic origin]
Cos•sack(ˈkɒs æk, -ək)
1. a member of any of a number of self-governing communities of varied ethnic affiliation that developed on the S and E frontiers of the Muscovite state and Poland-Lithuania after c1400: all were eventually incorporated into czarist Russia.
2. a mounted soldier of a military unit drafted from any of these communities.
[1590–1600; < Polish kozak or Ukrainian kozák, ultimately < a Turkic word taken to mean “adventurer, freebooter”]
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|Noun||1.||Cossack - 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|
Slav - any member of the people of eastern Europe or Asian Russia who speak a Slavonic language