• synonyms


[ see-poi ]
/ ˈsi pɔɪ /


(formerly, in India) a native soldier, usually an infantryman, in the service of Europeans, especially of the British.

Nearby words

sepia, sepik, sepiolite, sepmag, sepn., sepoy, sepoy rebellion, seppo, seppuku, sepsis, sept

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sepoy

British Dictionary definitions for sepoy


/ (ˈsiːpɔɪ) /


(formerly) an Indian soldier in the service of the British

Word Origin for sepoy

C18: from Portuguese sipaio, from Urdu sipāhī, from Persian: horseman, from sipāh army
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

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