Definition of Gagauz in English:



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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘By last year's end, that faction moved to reactivate the once-close relationship between the Gagauz and Tiraspol.’
    • ‘The 1994 constitution and subsequent legislation safeguarded the rights of minorities, and in the same year broad autonomous powers were granted to the Gagauz.’
    • ‘The population of 4.5 million consists of 65% Romanians, 14% Ukrainians, 13% Russians, 4% Gagauz (Turks of Christian faith), and 2% Bulgarians.’
  • 2mass 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.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Is the Gagauz language the language of communication among the population and also in government bodies?’
    • ‘Tension continues to exist with two regions within the country that have declared their independence from Moldova: the Gagauz region and the Transdnister.’
    • ‘As far as I remember Gagauz voters expressed their wish for such an arrangement in a referendum.’
    • ‘In August Gagauz elections were suspended by the Moldovan government, and a state of emergency declared.’
    • ‘The conflict with the Gagauz minority was defused by the granting of local autonomy in 1994.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The last language to adopt Cyrillic was the Gagauz language, which had used Greek script before.’
    • ‘Its population is ethnically mixed: Romanian speakers, Ukrainians, Russians, Bulgarians, the Turkic-origin Gagauz community.’
    • ‘In 1989 I was among those who petitioned the establishment of Gagauz and Bulgarian music courses.’
    • ‘With help of Russian forces, the Gagauz authorities established firm control over their territory.’
    • ‘The renaissance of Gagauz culture and language is of important status in the new autonomy within Moldova.’


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