The Turkic term oğuz or oğur (in z- and r-Turkic, respectively) is a historical term for "military division, clan, or tribe" among the Turkic peoples. With the Mongol invasions of 1206–21, the Turkic khaganates were replaced by Mongol or hybrid Turco-Mongol confederations, where the corresponding military division came to be known as orda.
The 8th-century Kül Tigin stela has the earliest instance of the term in Old Turkic epigraphy: Toquz Oghuz, the "nine tribes". Later the word appears often for two largely separate groups of the Turkic migration in the early medieval period, namely:
The stem uq-, oq- "kin, tribe" is from a Proto-Turkic *uk. The Old Turkic word has often been connected with oq "arrow"; Pohl (2002) in explanation of this connection adduces the Chinese T'ang-shu chronicle, which reports "the khan divided his realm into ten tribes. To the leader of each tribe, he sent an arrow. The name [of these ten leaders] was 'the ten she ', but they were also called 'the ten arrows'."  An oguz (ogur) was in origin a military division of a Nomadic empire, which acquired tribal or ethnic connotations, by processes of ethnogenesis.
- ^ Sergei Anatolyevich Starostin, Turkic etymology (Online Etymological Database Project), citing VEWT 511, ЭСТЯ 1, 582-583, Егоров 76. Starostin thought the connection with "arrow" was made "erroneously".
- ^ the "arrows" connection was first reported by Édouard Chavannes, Documents sur les Tou-kiue (Turcs) occidentaux, 1900.
- ^ a b Walter Pohl, Die Awaren: ein Steppenvolk im Mitteleuropa, 567-822 n. Chr, C.H.Beck (2002), ISBN 978-3-406-48969-3, p. 26-29.
- Karoly Czeglédy, On the Numerical Composition of the Ancient Turkic Tribal Confederations, Acta Orient. Hung., 25 (1972), 275-281.
- Golden, Peter; Bosworth, C. Edmund (2002). "ḠOZZ". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. XI, Fasc. 2. pp. 184–187.
- Golden, Peter B. (2020). "Oghuz". In Fleet, Kate; Krämer, Gudrun; Matringe, Denis; Nawas, John; Stewart, Devin J. (eds.). Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE. Brill Online. ISSN 1873-9830.