: a member of any of various European military units originally modeled on the Hungarian light cavalry of the 15th century

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A hussar is a member of a European light-cavalry unit used for scouting; the hussars were modeled on the 15th-century Hungarian light-horse corps. The brilliantly colored Hungarian hussar’s uniform was imitated in other European armies; it consisted of a busby (high, cylindrical cloth cap), a jacket with heavy braiding, and a dolman (loose coat worn hanging from the left shoulder).

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Yet Conan Doyle was far prouder of his historical fiction, which included the exploits of the dashing Napoleonic hussar Brig. Stephen Brumwell, WSJ, 27 Apr. 2022 The jacket had a hussar’s collar and bracelet-length sleeves—the latter a signature of Jackie Kennedy, as many commentators observed. Judith Thurman, The New Yorker, 20 Jan. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hussar.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Hungarian huszár hussar, (obsolete) highway robber, from Serbian & Croatian husar pirate, from Medieval Latin cursarius — more at corsair

First Known Use

1688, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hussar was in 1688

Dictionary Entries Near hussar

Cite this Entry

“Hussar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



: a member of any of various European originally cavalry military units

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