young Turk

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English[edit]

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Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

young Turk (plural young Turks)

  1. (historical) From the mid-19th to the mid-20th century, a member of a movement that campaigned for reform of the Ottoman Empire.
  2. (idiomatic, by extension) A young person who agitates for political or other reform; a young person with a rebellious disposition.
    • 1885, Horatio Alger, Hector's Inheritance, ch. 14:
      "What! Roscoe?" inquired the principal.
      "Yes."
      "Is he in any mischief?"
      "Mischief? I should say so! Why, he's a regular young Turk."
      "A young Turk? I don't think I understand you, James."
      "I mean, he's a young ruffian."
    • 1966 Sep. 30, "Jazz: Man with a Brain," Time:
      He arrives at a time when jazz's discontented Young Turks have disdainfully turned away from their audiences and gone off to explore the way-out.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Often used in the plural form.