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[as-kuh-ree] /ˈæs kə ri/
noun, plural askaris, askari.
a native African police officer or soldier, especially one serving a colonial administration.
Origin of askari
1885-90; < Swahili < Arabic ʿaskarī soldier, equivalent to ʿaskar army (< Persian lashkar; cf. lascar) + suffix of appurtenance Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for askari
Historical Examples
  • The canoes were unloaded, and the stores and ammunition given to the askari to carry.

    Samba Herbert Strang
  • For some hours he followed the path on which his uncle and he had been escorted by the askari.

    Samba Herbert Strang
  • It was just at this point that they met a party of askari marching in the other direction.

    Samba Herbert Strang
  • A few minutes later six askari came from the thick wall of bush.

    Samba Herbert Strang
  • In the darkness that still lingered the other side of the camp an askari challenged sharply some lurking wanderer.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • "Watcha kalele, Saa-sita," I told the askari; at once he lifted up his voice to repeat my words.

    The Land of Footprints Stewart Edward White
  • Therefore Sir Henry and the askari proceeded to arm themselves in like fashion.

    Allan Quatermain H. Rider Haggard
  • The second askari, his rifle lowered, was staring in vague surmise at his breast, from which protruded a piece of polished wood.


    Stephen French Whitman
  • But Elbel was ready: he jumped nimbly backwards, while half a dozen askari rushed between them, and pinioned Jack's arms.

    Samba Herbert Strang
  • But the askari roughly replied that they had orders to continue their journey without delay, and the march was resumed.

    Samba Herbert Strang
British Dictionary definitions for askari


(in East Africa) a soldier or policeman
Word Origin
C19: from Arabic: soldier
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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