Definition of Zouave in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ZHo͞oˈäv/
Pronunciation: /ZHwäv/


1A member of a light-infantry corps in the French army, originally formed of Algerians and long retaining their oriental uniform.
Example sentences
  • In an attempt to avoid further bloodshed Pius asked his own army, the Zouaves, to lay down their arms, fled the Quirinal (papal palace) and shut himself up in the Vatican.
  • Her father, Jules-Joseph, a retired army captain of the Zouaves who had lost a leg in the Italian wars, was a tax-collector with local political aspirations.
  • Assigned to the 12th Regiment of Zouaves, Folcher had spent much of the Phoney War on exercises, moving around frequently and eventually being assigned in March to a sector of the line behind the Ardennes.
1.1A member of a light-infantry unit patterned on the French Zouaves, especially in the Union Army in the Civil War.
Example sentences
  • Others served in the Louisiana Zouaves Battalion, the Spanish Legion of the European Brigade, and the Spanish Guard of Mobile, Ala.
  • Instead of abandoning Washington for Springfield at a time when other wives of public men were returning home to safety, she grew accustomed to living with soldiers, from the Frontier Guards and the Zouaves camped in the East Room.
2 (zouaves) dated Women’s trousers with wide tops, tapering to a narrow ankle.


Mid 19th century: from French, from Kabyle Zouaoua, the name of a tribe.

Words that rhyme with Zouave

Algarve, calve, carve, grave, Graves, halve, Slav, starve, suave

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: Zou·ave

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.