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Related to Mamelukes: Mamaluke, janissaries


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.

[French mameluk, from Arabic mamlūk, slave, Mameluke, passive participle of malaka, to possess; see mlk in Semitic roots.]

Mam′e·luke′ adj.


(ˈmæməˌluːk) or




1. (Historical Terms) a member of a military class, originally of Turkish slaves, ruling in Egypt from about 1250 to 1517 and remaining powerful until crushed in 1811
2. (Military) a member of a military class, originally of Turkish slaves, ruling in Egypt from about 1250 to 1517 and remaining powerful until crushed in 1811
3. (Historical Terms) (in Muslim countries) a slave
[C16: via French, ultimately from Arabic mamlūk slave, from malaka to possess]


(ˈmæm əˌluk)

also Mamluk,

1. a member of an Egyptian military class, originally slaves, in power from about 1250 to 1517 and influential until 1811.
2. (l.c.) (in Muslim countries) a slave.
[1505–15; < Arabic mamlūk literally, slave, derivative of malaka to possess]
References in classic literature ?
They were the divinities of Arabia and of the Mamelukes who wished their troopers to believe that the Mahdi had the power of preventing them from dying in battle.
But we made short work of the Mamelukes as usual, and everything goes down before the voice of Napoleon, who seizes Upper and Lower Egypt and Arabia, far and wide, till we came to the capitals of kingdoms which no longer existed, where there were thousands and thousands of statues of all the devils in creation, all done to the life, and another curious thing too, any quantity of lizards.
The Mamelukes, knowing that we were all on the sick-list, want to stop our road; but it was no use trying that nonsense with Napoleon.
She was the private property of a Mameluke, who, although he had several more of them, flatly refused to strike a bargain, though 'the other' offered all his treasures for her and diamonds as big as pigeon's eggs.
Yet ignorance may be more precious than wisdom, for Alleyne as he walked on braced himself to a higher life by the thought of this other's sacrifice, and strengthened himself by his example which he could scarce have done had he known that the Hospitaller's mind ran more upon malmsey than on Mamelukes, and on venison rather than victories.
Four days before, sentinels of the Preobrazhensk regiment had stood in front of the house to which Balashev was conducted, and now two French grenadiers stood there in blue uniforms unfastened in front and with shaggy caps on their heads, and an escort of hussars and Uhlans and a brilliant suite of aides-de-camp, pages, and generals, who were waiting for Napoleon to come out, were standing at the porch, round his saddle horse and his Mameluke, Rustan.
This,' they will say, 'is he who vanquished in single combat the gigantic Brocabruno of mighty strength; he who delivered the great Mameluke of Persia out of the long enchantment under which he had been for almost nine hundred years.
For these feats of horsemanship two things are necessary: a most severe bit, like the Mameluke, the power of which, though seldom used, the horse knows full well; and large blunt spurs, that can be applied either as a mere touch, or as an instrument of extreme pain.
of Georgia or of Massachusetts, all transient and fleeting phenomena, till I am ready to leap from their court-yard like the Mameluke bey.
when the Mamelukes were ruling Egypt, but others believe that it was invented earlier in Levant countries.
When in the 1270s the Mongols encountered stern opposition from the Egyptian Mamelukes they abandoned their role of ruthless conquerors and tried to treaty with European kings and popes for military alliances.
Without the venal slaves and reckless renegades of the press, they would vainly seek for Mamelukes to carry out their designs" (191).