Definition of Gagauz in English:



  • 1A member of a people living mainly in southern Moldova and speaking a Turkic language.

    • ‘By last year's end, that faction moved to reactivate the once-close relationship between the Gagauz and Tiraspol.’
    • ‘The population of 4.5 million consists of 65% Romanians, 14% Ukrainians, 13% Russians, 4% Gagauz (Turks of Christian faith), and 2% Bulgarians.’
    • ‘Moldova has historically been home to a large number of ethnic groups, including Russians, Ukrainians, Gagauz (a Turkish group of the Christian faith), Gypsies, Jews, Poles, and Germans.’
    • ‘The 1994 constitution and subsequent legislation safeguarded the rights of minorities, and in the same year broad autonomous powers were granted to the Gagauz.’
  • 2[mass noun] The language of the Gagauz, closely related to Turkish and having about 150,000 speakers.

    • ‘Azeri (also referred to as Azeri Turkish) or Azerbaijani is a Turkic language in the Altaic family; it belongs to the southwestern Oguz group, together with Anatolian Turkish, Turkmen, and Gagauz.’
    • ‘The most common being translations from Gagauz to English and translations from English to Gagauz.’


  • Relating to the Gagauz or their language.

    • ‘Its population is ethnically mixed: Romanian speakers, Ukrainians, Russians, Bulgarians, the Turkic-origin Gagauz community.’
    • ‘In August Gagauz elections were suspended by the Moldovan government, and a state of emergency declared.’
    • ‘A new constitution granted autonomous status to the Dnestr and Gagauz regions but, despite the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Dnestr region in 1995, the situation remains tense.’
    • ‘In 1989 I was among those who petitioned the establishment of Gagauz and Bulgarian music courses.’
    • ‘Is the Gagauz language the language of communication among the population and also in government bodies?’
    • ‘The last language to adopt Cyrillic was the Gagauz language, which had used Greek script before.’
    • ‘Tension continues to exist with two regions within the country that have declared their independence from Moldova: the Gagauz region and the Transdnister.’
    • ‘On 24 May 1992, two Moldavian policemen were killed when they tried to stop delivery of a consignment to ethnic Gagauz militants, according to local press accounts.’
    • ‘The conflict with the Gagauz minority was defused by the granting of local autonomy in 1994.’
    • ‘As far as I remember Gagauz voters expressed their wish for such an arrangement in a referendum.’
    • ‘The renaissance of Gagauz culture and language is of important status in the new autonomy within Moldova.’
    • ‘With help of Russian forces, the Gagauz authorities established firm control over their territory.’


Probably from Persian Kaykaus, perhaps from the name of Sultan Izzedin Kaykaus (reigned 1242–57).