From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:
Mameluke \Mam"e*luke\, noun [F. mamelouk, cf. Sp. mameluco, It. mammalucco; all fr. Ar. maml[=u]k a purchased slave or captive; lit., possessed or in one's power, p. p. of malaka to possesses.] One of a body of mounted soldiers recruited from slaves converted to Mohammedanism, who, during several centuries, had more or less control of the government of Egypt, until exterminated or dispersed by Mehemet Ali in 1811.
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