A member of a Middle Eastern Muslim military caste, originally composed of slaves of Turkic origin from central Eurasia and later also of slaves from Circassia and the Balkans, that held the Egyptian throne from about 1250 until 1517 and remained powerful until 1811.
[French mameluk, from Arabic mamlūk, slave, Mameluke, passive participle of malaka, to possess; see mlk in the Appendix of Semitic roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.