Definition of fedayeen in English:

fedayeen

Line breaks: fed¦ay|een
Pronunciation: /ˌfɛdəˈjiːn
 
, fəˈdɑːjiːn/
(also fidayeen)

noun

  • Arab guerrillas operating especially against Israel: he attempted to obtain clemency for members of the Islamic fedayeen
    More example sentences
    • He had a firefight with the fedayeen and some of them got killed.
    • After the defeat of the dictator, she was reluctant to return as the fedayeen were still operating in the town.
    • The delegitimization of resisting combatants is continued in accompanying descriptions of the activities of the fedayeen and other militias.

Origin

1950s: from colloquial Arabic fidā'iyīn, plural of classical Arabic fidā'ī 'one who gives his life for another or for a cause', from fadā 'to ransom someone'. The singular fedai (from Arabic and Persian fidā'ī) had previously been used (late 19th century) to denote an Ismaili Muslim assassin.

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