A member of a regime that formerly ruled parts of the Middle East. Descended from slaves, they ruled Syria (1260–1516) and Egypt (1250–1517), and continued as a ruling military caste in Ottoman Egypt until massacred by the viceroy Muhammad Ali in 1811.
- In Egypt, the Mamelukes actually seized power.
- France was on friendly terms with Turkey, and Egypt was at least nominally part of the Sultan's empire, though in fact it was ruled by the Mamelukes.
- It previously belonged to the Mamelukes, the Crusaders, the Ottoman Turks, and then Britain.
From French mameluk, from Arabic mamlūk (passive participle used as a noun meaning 'slave'), from malaka 'possess'.
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