noun, plural fedayeen [fe-dah-yeen] .
a member of an Arab commando group operating especially against Israel.

1950–55; < dialectal Arabic fidāʾī (plural fidāʾīyīn) one who sacrifices himself (especially for his country)

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World English Dictionary
fedayee (fəˈdɑːjiː)
n , pl -yeen
(sometimes capital) (in Arab states) a commando, esp one fighting against Israel
[from Arabic fidā'i one who risks his life in a cause, from fidā' redemption]

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Encyclopedia Britannica


a term used in Islamic cultures to describe a devotee of a religious or national group willing to engage in self-immolation to attain a group goal. The term first appeared in the 11th-13th centuries in reference to the members of the Nizari Isma'ili sect of Assassins who would risk their lives to commit political murder, an assignment considered a religious duty. Though fida'iyyun (fedayeen) may have constituted a special body of "Assassins," accounts of their taking hashish as a stimulant are not supported by evidence

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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