Zou·​ave zü-ˈäv How to pronounce Zouave (audio)
: a member of a French infantry unit originally composed of Algerians wearing a brilliant uniform and conducting a quick spirited drill
: a member of a military unit adopting the dress and drill of the Zouaves

Word History


French, from Arabic dialect (Algeria) Zwāwa, Berber tribal confederation of Kabylia

First Known Use

1844, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of Zouave was in 1844

Dictionary Entries Near Zouave

Cite this Entry

“Zouave.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Zouave. Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

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