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[fe-dah-yee] /fɛ dɑˈyi/
noun, plural fedayeen
[fe-dah-yeen] /fɛ dɑˈyin/ (Show IPA)
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) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for fedayeen


noun (pl) -yeen (-jiːn)
(sometimes capital) (in Arab states) a commando, esp one fighting against Israel
Word Origin
from Arabic fidā'i one who risks his life in a cause, from fidā' redemption
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for fedayeen

partisans or irregulars in the Middle East, from Arabic plural of fedai "devotee, zealot, one who risks life for a cause," from Persian fidai.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for fedayeen


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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