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Mameluke a member of a regime that formerly ruled parts of the Middle East. Descended from slaves brought from the Caucasus and central Asia as bodyguards by the caliphs and sultans of Egypt, 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.

The name comes from French mameluk, from Arabic mamlūk (passive participle used as a noun meaning ‘slave’), from malaka ‘possess’.

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Mameluke one of the military body, orig. Caucasian slaves, that ruled Egypt 1254–1811. XVI. — F. mameluk (OF. mamelus), It. mammalucco, Sp., Pg. mameluco, medL. mameluc, -uchus — Arab. mamlūk slave, sb. use of pp. of malaka possess.