One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1An Indian soldier serving under British or other European orders.
- ‘The only need was for military labour, but even here local soldiers, especially Indian sepoys, were cheap and abundant.’
- ‘Sullivan set out at 6 a.m. on January 2, 1819, with a detachment of Europeans and sepoys equipped as if ‘departing for the polar seas’.’
- ‘His force was made up of two British regular infantry regiments, the 74th and 78th of Foot, Company sepoys and infantry from Hyderabad.’
- ‘On 10 May 1857, sepoys of the Bengal army shot their British officers and marched on Delhi to restore the aged Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah, to power.’
- ‘Huge armies were created, largely composed of Indian sepoys but with some regular British regiments.’
- 1.1 (in South Asia) a police constable.
From Urdu and Persian sipāhī ‘soldier’, from sipāh ‘army’.
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