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1. A member of a French infantry unit, originally composed of Algerian recruits, characterized by colorful uniforms and precision drilling.
2. A member of a group patterned after the French Zouaves, especially a member of such a unit of the Union Army in the US Civil War.
[French, from Berber Zwāwa, the Kabyle tribe from which the unit's members were originally recruited.]
1. (Military) (formerly) a member of a body of French infantry composed of Algerian recruits noted for their dash, hardiness, and colourful uniforms
2. (Military) a member of any body of soldiers wearing a similar uniform or otherwise modelled on the French Zouaves, esp a volunteer in such a unit of the Union Army in the American Civil War
[C19: from French, from Zwāwa, tribal name in Algeria]
1. a member of a former body of infantry in the French army, composed orig. of Algerians, distinguished for their showy drill and picturesque uniforms.
2. a member of any military body adopting a similar dress and drill, esp. a member of any of certain volunteer regiments in the American Civil War.
[1820–30; < French < Arabic zawāwah]