Circa 1600, from Middle French cosaque, from Polish Kozak, from Ukrainian коза́к (kozák) (cf. Russian каза́к (kazák) or коза́к (kozák) (older spelling)), from Kazakh казак (kazak), from a Turkic word quzzāq meaning “free man, wanderer," from Old Turkic *qazǧaq (*qazǧaq, “profiteer”), from qazǧanmaq (qazǧanmaq, “to acquire”), from qazmaq (qazmaq, “to dig out”), from Proto-Turkic *kaŕ-. Cognate with Kazakh.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈkɒsˌæk/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈkɑsˌæk/, /ˈkɔsˌæk/
- Hyphenation: Cos‧sack
Cossack (plural Cossacks)
- A member or descendant of an originally (semi-)nomadic population of Eastern Europe and the adjacent parts of Asia, formed in part of runaways from the neighbouring countries, that eventually settled in parts of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Russian tsarist Empire (where they constituted a legendary military caste), particularly in areas now comprising southern Russia and Ukraine.
- A member of a military unit (typically cavalry, originally recruited exclusively from the above)
- (obsolete) A Ukrainian.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.