n 1: a member of a Slavic people living in southern European Russia and Ukraine and adjacent parts of Asia and noted for their horsemanship and military skill; they formed an elite cavalry corps in czarist Russia
nounEtymology: Polish & Ukrainian kozak, of Turkic origin; akin to Volga Tatar kazak free person Date: 1589 1. a member of any of a number of autonomous communities drawn from various ethnic and linguistic groups (as Slavs, Tatars, and Circassians) that formed in Ukraine, southern Russia, the Caucasus, and Siberia after about 1400 and that were completely incorporated into czarist Russia during the 18th and 19th centuries 2. a mounted soldier serving in a unit drafted from Cossack communities
n. & adj. --n. 1 a member of a people of southern Imperial Russia, orig. famous for their military skill. 2 a member of a Cossack military unit. --adj. of, relating to, or characteristic of the Cossacks. Etymology: F cosaque f. Russ. kazak f. Turki quzzaq nomad, adventurer
Cossack Cos"sack (k?s"s?k), n. [Russ. kozak', kazak': cf. Turk. kaz[=a]k.] One of a warlike, pastoral people, skillful as horsemen, inhabiting different parts of the Russian empire and furnishing valuable contingents of irregular cavalry to its armies, those of Little Russia and those of the Don forming the principal divisions.