[ turk ]
/ tɜrk /


Origin of Turk

1300–50; Middle EnglishTurkish Türk; compare Medieval Latin Turcus, Medieval Greek Toûrkos, Middle French turc, Italian turco, Persian turk
Related formsnon-Turk, noun

Definition for turk (2 of 2)


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

Examples from the Web for turk

British Dictionary definitions for turk (1 of 2)


/ (tɜːk) /


a native, inhabitant, or citizen of Turkey
a native speaker of any Turkic language, such as an inhabitant of Turkmenistan or Kyrgyzstan
obsolete, derogatory a violent, brutal, or domineering person
See also Young Turk

British Dictionary definitions for turk (2 of 2)


abbreviation for

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 turk



c.1300, from French Turc, from Medieval Latin Turcus, from Byzantine Greek Tourkos, Persian turk, a national name, of unknown origin. Said to mean "strength" in Turkish. Cf. Chinese tu-kin, name given c.177 B.C.E. as that of a people living south of the Altai Mountains (identified by some with the Huns). In Persian, turk, in addition to the national name, also could mean "a beautiful youth," "a barbarian," "a robber."

Meaning "person of Irish descent" is first recorded 1914 in U.S., apparently originating among Irish-Americans; of unknown origin (Irish torc "boar, hog" has been suggested). Young Turk (1908) was a member of an early 20c. political group in the Ottoman Empire that sought rejuvenation of the Turkish nation. Turkish bath is attested from 1640s; Turkish delight from 1877.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper