- (often initial capital letter) a member of an elite military unit of the Turkish army organized in the 14th century and abolished in 1826 after it revolted against the Sultan.
- (often initial capital letter) any soldier in the Turkish army.
- a member of any group of loyal guards, soldiers, or supporters.
Also jan·i·zar·y [jan-uh-zer-ee] /ˈdʒæn əˌzɛr i/.
Origin of janissary
1520–30; < French janissaire < Italian gian(n)izzero < Turkish yeniçeri, equivalent to yeni new + çeri soldiery, militia
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for janissary
A Mohammedan presses his janissary's cap over the crown of thorns.From Pole to Pole
Sven Anders Hedin
The despair of the Sultan emboldened the Janissary still further.The Lion of Janina
This, as the Jew had told him, seemed very simple to the Janissary.Told in the Coffee House
Besides, the janissary of the Consulate had showed us the way to his house.The Lands of the Saracen
All the Janissary officers evidently were on Halil Patrona's side.Halil the Pedlar
- an infantryman in the Turkish army, originally a member of the sovereign's personal guard, from the 14th to the early 19th century
C16: from French janissaire, from Italian giannizzero, from Turkish yeniçeri, from yeni new + çeri soldiery