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.]
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