One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A hostile raid for purposes of conquest, plunder, and capture of slaves, especially one carried out by Moors in North Africa.
attack, assault, offensive, onslaught, offence, drive, push, thrust, onrush, sortie, sally, swoop, foray, raid, invasion, incursion, campaignView synonyms
- ‘Several government officials, Lamartine most notably, were scandalized by the army's use of the razzia, or raid, derived from a tactic used by the Roman army.’
- ‘The theme of this year's Festival du Monde Arabe de Montréal is razzias, the Arabic word meaning ‘raids’, which once struck fear in the hearts of merchants driving caravans across the desert.’
- ‘Those who want to conduct razzias against Americans forget that.’
- ‘He was driven to use reprisal raids, the razzias that had traditionally formed part of warfare in North Africa.’
- ‘When the razzia was ordered by Berlin late in the following year, the Reich puppet ruler in Denmark allowed the information to be leaked to the rescuers, and prevented the German navy from intervening.’
Mid 19th century: via French from Algerian Arabic ġāziya ‘raid’.
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