: 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).

Examples of hussar in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In a large painting in the dining room, a rabbit stands at attention wearing a crimson Napoleonic War-era hussar uniform. Daniel Langhorne, The Christian Science Monitor, 10 May 2024 Well aware that King Sobieski and his army of Polish hussars had saved both Europe and Christendom, the pope awarded the painter the title Knight Commander with Star of the Order of Pius IX. Danuta Hamlin, Fox News, 17 June 2023 Káel plans to spend more than a day in Berlin, but also hopes Hungarian producers will leave with handsome sales ledgers after the market — without having to raise a ransom, like the handsome hussar. Nick Holdsworth, Variety, 18 Feb. 2023 Csaba Káel, head of Hungary’s National Film Institute (NFI), hopes to emulate an 18th century Magyar hussar hero at this year’s Berlinale European Film Market. Nick Holdsworth, Variety, 18 Feb. 2023 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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hussar.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 21 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


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

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