[oo-lahn, yoo-luh n]
- one of a group of lancers in a light-cavalry unit, first appearing in Europe in the Polish army.
- one of such a group as later developed into heavy cavalry in western European armies, especially in Germany.
Origin of uhlan
1745–55; < German < Polish ulan ≪ Turkish oğlan boy, lad
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for uhlan
The uhlan came on at a very quick pace, carrying some dispatches.A Comedy of Marriage and Other Tales
Guy De Maupassant
"And I think he was a Uhlan," went on Jimmie, pointing to other tracks.Boy Scouts Mysterious Signal
G. Harvey Ralphson
He bowed gravely to the Uhlan lieutenant, who saluted stiffly.
It was the exclamation of the Uhlan who had stopped them in the afternoon.
"I have no confidence in Uhlan officers," said her spouse, darkly.Lorraine
Robert W. Chambers
- history a member of a body of lancers first employed in the Polish army and later in W European armies
C18: via German from Polish ulan, from Turkish ōlan young man
Word Origin and History for uhlan
"cavalryman," 1753, from German Uhlan, from Polish ułan "a lancer," from Turkish oghlan "a youth." For sense evolution, cf. infantry.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper