Definition of Hyksos in English:


plural noun

  • A people of mixed Semitic and Asian descent who invaded Egypt and settled in the Nile delta c.1640 BC. They formed the 15th and 16th dynasties of Egypt and ruled a large part of the country until driven out c.1532 BC.

    • ‘The Hyksos weren't content with Pharaoh's welcome and great generosity - they wanted all the fertile lands.’
    • ‘After the Bronze Age, Amorites, Western Semites, Hyksos and Hittites successively invaded the area.’
    • ‘They command you take the Hyksos chief's daughter as your wife.’
    • ‘There's good evidence that by the time of the Hyksos, a large part of Egyptian culture was lost to the Egypt of the day.’
    • ‘During the 13 th Dynasty, there was a surplus of Hyksos.’
    • ‘That was after Ahmose, a Theban ruler, defeated the Hyksos, who controlled the Lower Egypt.’
    • ‘I think the situation you are thinking of may have occurred in isolated instances later on, such as the Hyksos people's momentary control of the Nile region.’
    • ‘According to Manetho, he was the last king to rule before the Hyksos occupied Egypt ‘without a battle.’’
    • ‘From around 1700 bc a much lighter chariot drawn by only two animals was developed, with which the Hyksos conquered Egypt.’
    • ‘This Second Intermediate Period saw the Hyksos, Semitic invaders from Palestine, come and overtake the Egyptian ruling class.’
    • ‘In 1575 B.C., a Thebian dynasty drove out the Hyksos and reunited the kingdom.’
    • ‘The Egyptians under the Hyksos pharaohs invaded the Near East, and then came to Greece.’


From Greek Huksōs (interpreted by Manetho as ‘shepherd kings’ or ‘captive shepherds’), from Egyptian heqa khoswe ‘foreign rulers’.