Definition of askari in English:


nounplural noun askari, plural noun askaris

  • (in East Africa) a soldier or police officer.

    ‘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.’
    • ‘The askari has technical, military training, and his goal is the ‘self-preservation ‘of his group.’’
    • ‘I was quietly removed from my African childhood whose boundary was marked with a razor wire fence and an armed askari at the gate and placed in a rented terraced house in Ealing.’
    • ‘Facing them 200 yards away are the neat files of white sacks containing split peas and maize, each attended by companies of askari.’



/əˈskärē/ /əˈskɑri/ /ˈäskərē/ /ˈɑskəri/


Early 19th century from Arabic ‘askarī ‘soldier’.