- (formerly, in India) a native soldier, usually an infantryman, in the service of Europeans, especially of the British.
Origin of sepoy
1675–85, in sense “horseman”; 1710–20 for current sense; variant of sipahi < Urdu < Persian sipāhī horseman, soldier, derivative of sipāh army; cf. spahi
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for sepoy
"Perhaps he saved his master's life in the Sepoy rebellion," she thought.Sara Crewe
Frances Hodgson Burnett
In May, sixty-one artillerymen and four Sepoy regiments were there.A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year
To the walls, however, the Sepoy directed his closest scrutiny.
“I will pay you the tribute of assuring you that it is not,” replied the Sepoy.
“Very well; I will not return until the time appointed,” said the Sepoy.
- (formerly) an Indian soldier in the service of the British
C18: from Portuguese sipaio, from Urdu sipāhī, from Persian: horseman, from sipāh army
Word Origin and History for sepoy
"native of India in British military service," 1717, from Portuguese sipae, from Urdu sipahi, from Persian sipahi "soldier, horseman," from sipah "army." The Sepoy Mutiny was 1857-8.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper