Definition of Seljuk in US English:



  • A member of any of the Turkish dynasties which ruled Asia Minor in the 11th to 13th centuries, successfully invading the Byzantine Empire and defending the Holy Land against the Crusaders.

    • ‘First Seljuks and later Ottomans maintained pressure on Constantinople, hoping to take a symbol of unconquered strength and great strategic importance.’
    • ‘Historians have traced its genealogy to the architecture found in Asia Minor under the rule of the Seljuks in the early centuries of the second millennium.’
    • ‘The Seljuks - forebears of the Ottoman Turks - carved out the Sultanate of Rum as the Abbasid caliphate lost its grip over Asia Minor.’
    • ‘He also opposed the Khwarizmian Turks, who had succeeded the Seljuks in Asia Minor and who now were trying to make Nasir subject to them.’
    • ‘Their victories against the Seljuks in Asia Minor brought them close to the Nicaean empire, and Vatazes was forced to return to Asia Minor.’


  • Relating to the Seljuks.

    • ‘In the eleventh century, the Seljuk Turks conquered Asia Minor (modern Turkey), which had been Christian since the time of St. Paul.’
    • ‘The invasions of the Seljuk Turkish dynasty introduced the Turkish language and customs.’
    • ‘In the 11th century the Seljuk Turks took large parts of Asia Minor and overran Anatolia, menacing Christian pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem.’
    • ‘Crossing Asia Minor, the crusaders defeated the Turks at Dorylaeum, captured the Seljuk sultan's tent and treasure, and opened the road to further advance.’
    • ‘Their conquests are known today as the Seljuk Empire, named after the leader who first united the tribes.’


From Turkish seljūq, the name of the reputed ancestor of the dynasty.