- (especially in czarist Russia) a person belonging to any of certain groups of Slavs living chiefly in the southern part of Russia in Europe and forming an elite corps of horsemen.
Origin of Cossack
Examples from the Web for cossacks
“Unlike Berkut and the Cossacks, the Russian military treated us with almost exaggerated respect and care,” Butko pointed out.
There also appeared to be a few Cossacks and Russian-speaking militia.
The Cossacks stood for freedom and individualism, and central Russia would do anything to keep them from spreading their ideals.ICYMI: Best of The Beast This Week
The Daily Beast
March 16, 2014
According to the politest version, the Cossacks replied: Thou Turkish Devil!
There are men referred to as Cossacks in Crimea; they carry whips to beat the rebel spirit out of the protestors.
When he drove out his escort consisted of a couple of Cossacks.Camps, Quarters and Casual Places
I could now hear the Cossacks, who had dismounted, running upon my tracks.A Hero of Our Time
M. Y. Lermontov
And now you may call in your Cossacks and have them kill me and bury me in the garden.
Only an alarm of Cossacks could restore to their eyes a semblance of martial resolution.A Set of Six
Our Cossacks either killed the stragglers or else let them alone, just as it happened.Tales Of Hearsay
- (formerly) any of the free warrior-peasants of chiefly East Slavonic descent who lived in communes, esp in Ukraine, and served as cavalry under the tsars
- of, relating to, or characteristic of the Cossacksa Cossack dance
Word Origin and History for cossacks
1590s, from Russian kozak, from Turkish kazak "adventurer, guerilla, nomad," from qaz "to wander." The same Turkic root is the source of the people-name Kazakh and the nation of Kazakhstan.
A people in southern Russia who became aggressive warriors during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In place of taxes, they supplied the Russian Empire with scouts and mounted soldiers. The Cossacks are also famed for their dances, which feature fast-paced music and seemingly impossible leaps.