Definition of casbah in English:

casbah

(also kasbah)

noun

  • 1The citadel of a North African city.

    • ‘Southern Morocco is famous for its kasbahs, large fortified homes made from pise or sun-dried mud-bricks.’
    • ‘As we travel, we'll be surrounded by signature images of the mystical Sahara: ancient kasbahs, palm-lined oases, haunting music, and delectable cuisine.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The Casbah, citadel, has always been the. beating heart of Algiers, capital of Algeria.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘After checking in I donned a hooded, robe-like jellaba and headed up into the valley on a trail behind the ancient kasbah.’
    1. 1.1the casbah The area surrounding a North African citadel, typically in the old part of a city.
      • ‘Earth Day events happen everywhere: in casbahs, capitals, villages, schools and temples.’
      • ‘Many old inhabitants of the kasbah still remember watching their neighbours dragged out and beheaded on the whim of a French general.’
      • ‘The casbah is surrounded by newer, European-style buildings.’
      • ‘This was a beautiful part of the old city, with catacombs and twisted alleyways, a casbah of the eastern Mediterranean.’
      • ‘The center of old cities is the casbah (Arabic for fortress), a market of serpentine alleyways and intricate arches where a variety of traditional crafts are sold, from carpets to baskets to pottery.’
      • ‘What kind of response did you get locally when you filmed in the casbah in Algiers?’
      • ‘The bartering which still takes place in many eastern kasbahs is a form of marketing.’
      • ‘The Algerian casbah provides a wonderful, tight, claustrophobic setting, its steep, narrow streets allowing Pontecorvo both sweeping crowd scenes and stark close-ups for his handheld camera.’
      • ‘This is a typical street in the casbah.’
      • ‘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 ‘.’’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

casbah

/ˈkazˌbä/