Definition of askari in English:


Line breaks: as¦kari
Pronunciation: /əˈskɑːri

noun (plural same or askaris)

1(In East Africa) a soldier or police officer.
More example sentences
  • They should instead take comfort in the fact that African askaris and Indian sepoys fought as mercenaries in the armies of the British Empire.
  • ‘They don't like butterfly farmers-we are like askaris to them,’ says Kiti, using the Swahili word for soldiers or guards.
  • They were local askaris who thought we were rebels from the north.
2 (Askari) South African historical A member of the ANC who changed sides and joined the apartheid government’s police force.
More example sentences
  • Together with Askaris (turned ANC cadres) based at the police's Vlakplaas unit, they had been instructed to hijack or damage vehicles, smash shop windows and assault people during the marches.


late 19th century: from Arabic ‘askarī 'soldier'.

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