E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Mamelukes (2 syl.) or Mamalukes (Arabic, mamluc, a slave).
A name given in Egypt to the slaves of the beys brought from the Caucasus, and formed into a standing army. In 1254 these military slaves raised one of their body to the supreme power, and Noureddin Ali, the founder of the Baharites, gave twenty-three sultans; in 1832 the dynasty of the Borjites, also Mamlucs, succeeded, and was followed by twenty-one successors. Selim I., Sultan of Turkey, overthrew the Mamluc kingdom in 1517, but allowed the twenty-four beys to be elected from their body. In 1811, Mohammed Ali by a wholesale massacre annihilated the Mamelukes, and became viceroy of Egypt.