jan·​is·​sary ˈja-nə-ˌser-ē How to pronounce janissary (audio)
variants or less commonly janizary
plural janissaries also janizaries
often capitalized : a soldier of an elite corps of Turkish troops organized in the 14th century and abolished in 1826
: a member of a group of loyal or subservient troops, officials, or supporters

Examples of janissary in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Süleyman sent him 2,000 janissaries, the elite of the Ottoman army. National Geographic, 8 Oct. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'janissary.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Italian gianizzero, from Turkish yeniçeri, from yeni new + çeri soldier

First Known Use

1529, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of janissary was in 1529

Dictionary Entries Near janissary

Cite this Entry

“Janissary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/janissary. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

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