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Borrowing from Ottoman Turkish سنجاق (sancâk, subdivision of a vilayet, literally flag).[1]



sanjak (plural sanjaks)

  1. An administrative region under the Ottoman Empire, a subdivision of a vilayet. [from 16th c.]
    • 1973, Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow:
      This lymphatic monster had once blocked the distinguished pharynx of Lord Blatherard Osmo, who at the time occupied the Novy Pazar desk at the Foreign Office, an obscure penance for the previous century of British policy on the Eastern Question, for on this obscure sanjak had once hinged the entire fate of Europe.
  2. (obsolete) The governor of a sanjak; a sanjakbeg. [16th-19th c.]
    • 1630, John Smith, True Travels, in Kupperman 1988, p. 45:
      the Duke [...] enforced all the whole Armie to retire to the Campe, with the losse of five or six thousand, with the Bashaw of Buda, and foure or five Zanzacks, with divers other great Commanders, two hundred Prisoners, and nine peeces of Ordnance.

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  1. ^ "sanjak." Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. 2008.