AskDefine | Define dey

User Contributed Dictionary



Etymology 1

dǣġe, from Germanic *daigjōn. Cognate with Swedish deja; compare dairy, dough, lady.

Alternative spellings


  1. A servant who has charge of the dairy; a dairymaid.

Etymology 2

From dey, from dayı.


  1. The title given to the ruler of the Regency of Algiers (now Algeria) under the Ottoman Empire.


Extensive Definition

Dey (Arabic: داي, from Turkish Dayı ) was the title given to the rulers of the Regency of Algiers (Algeria) and Tunis (Tunisia) under the Ottoman Empire from 1671 onwards. Twenty-nine deys held office from the establishment of the deylicate until the French conquest in 1830.
The dey was chosen by local civilian, military, and religious leaders to govern for life and ruled with a high degree of autonomy from the Ottoman sultan. The main sources of his revenues were taxes on the agricultural population, religious tributes, and protection payments rendered by Corsairs, regarded as pirates who preyed on Mediterranean shipping.
The dey was assisted in governing by a divan (ديوان) made up of the Chiefs of the Army and Navy, the Director of Shipping, the Treasurer-General and the Collector of Tributes.
The dey's realm was divided into three provinces (Constantine, Titteri and Mascara), each of which was administered by a bey (باي) whom he appointed.
The rule of the deys came to an end on 5 July 1830, when Hussein Dey (1765–1838) surrendered to invading French forces.

Other uses

  • Dey, De or Dé are also Bengali family names.


dey in Danish: Dei
dey in German: Dey
dey in French: Dey
dey in Swedish: Dej
dey in Turkish: Dayı
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