American English Dictionary

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Zouave (zuˈɑv zwɑv )



  1. a member of a former infantry unit in the French army, originally Algerians, noted for the precision of its close-order drill and characterized by a colorful uniform
  2. a member of any military group having a similar uniform; specif., a member of any of various volunteer regiments in the American Civil War

Word Origin

Fr < Ar Zwāwa < Berber Igawawaen, name of a Kabyle tribe of the Jurjura Mountains, Algeria, from whom the Zouaves were originally recruited


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