Definition of kasbah in English:


(also casbah)


  • 1The citadel of a North African city.

    ‘a town dominated by its ancient kasbah’
    • ‘There are hundreds of kasbahs dotted across the south of Morocco, many dating back as far as the 14th century, some with beautifully carved walls, almost all of them now crumbling back into the soil.’
    • ‘As we travel, we'll be surrounded by signature images of the mystical Sahara: ancient kasbahs, palm-lined oases, haunting music, and delectable cuisine.’
    • ‘After checking in I donned a hooded, robe-like jellaba and headed up into the valley on a trail behind the ancient kasbah.’
    • ‘Southern Morocco is famous for its kasbahs, large fortified homes made from pise or sun-dried mud-bricks.’
    • ‘Still musing about his travels, he turned to me, ‘The most memorable tour that I ever took was to explore the kasbahs of southern Morocco.’
    1. 1.1The area surrounding a North African citadel.
      ‘he took me to a flat in the kasbah’
      • ‘This was a beautiful part of the old city, with catacombs and twisted alleyways, a casbah of the eastern Mediterranean.’
      • ‘Many old inhabitants of the kasbah still remember watching their neighbours dragged out and beheaded on the whim of a French general.’
      • ‘He notes, for instance, ‘In all the cities of the Maghreb, the casbahs are the indigenous strongholds, centers of tacit and at times active resistance to the European colonial presence ‘.’’
      • ‘The bartering which still takes place in many eastern kasbahs is a form of marketing.’
      • ‘This is a typical street in the casbah.’


Mid 18th century: from French casbah, from Arabic qaṣaba citadel.