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or spahee

[spah-hee] /ˈspɑ hi/
noun, plural spahis.
one of a body of native Algerian cavalry in the French service.
(formerly) a cavalryman in the Turkish army.
Origin of spahi
1555-65; < Middle French < Turkish sipahi < Persian sipāhī. Cf. sepoy Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for spahi
Historical Examples
  • Another traveller was coming in to his night's rest, and he was a spahi.

    The Desert Drum Robert Hichens
  • The spahi was a magnificent man, tall, lithe, bronze-brown and muscular.

    The Desert Drum Robert Hichens
  • While I looked at him the spahi suddenly gave a tug at the cord to which he was attached.

    The Desert Drum Robert Hichens
  • The spahi stared at my cigar so persistently that I was obliged to offer him one.

    The Desert Drum Robert Hichens
  • He cast a vicious look at the spahi and went out into the darkness.

    The Desert Drum Robert Hichens
  • The butcher, who was an ex-'spahi', declared that he was a deserter.

  • They quarreled; the spahi drew first; and then, pouf et passe!

    Under Two Flags Ouida [Louise de la Ramee]
  • "You've got some good horses here," she said when the spahi had disappeared.

    The Garden Of Allah Robert Hichens
  • The spahi's fascination by the invisible forces was purely physical.

    Lafcadio Hearn Nina H. Kennard
  • All around sat the spahi and Janissary officers with their swords in their hands.

British Dictionary definitions for spahi


/ˈspɑːhiː; ˈspɑːiː/
noun (pl) -his, -hees
(formerly) an irregular cavalryman in the Turkish armed forces
a member of a body of native Algerian cavalrymen in the French armed forces: disbanded after Algerian independence
Word Origin
C16: from Old French, from Turkish sipahi, from Persian sipāhī soldier; see sepoy
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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