noun, often capitalized \ˈfer-(ˌ)ō, ˈfā-(ˌ)rō\

: a ruler of ancient Egypt

Full Definition of PHARAOH

:  a ruler of ancient Egypt
:  tyrant

Examples of PHARAOH

  1. <like some pharaoh of a third-world country, more interested in building monuments to himself than in creating a future for his people>

Origin of PHARAOH

Middle English pharao, from Old English, from Late Latin pharaon-, pharao, from Greek pharaō, from Hebrew parʽōh, from Egyptian pr-ʽ˒ʾ
First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Foreign Functionary Terms

count, despot, emir, wardrobe, yeoman

Rhymes with PHARAOH


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Epithet applied to Egyptian kings from c. 1500 to 343 BC. The term later evolved into a generic term for all ancient Egyptian kings. Pharaohs were regarded as gods, retaining their divine status even after death. A pharaoh's will was supreme, and he governed by royal decree, with the assistance of viziers. The common people nevertheless judged a pharaoh by his deeds; many were criticized, plotted against, and even deposed and killed. See also Akhenaton; Amenemhet I; Amenhotep II; Amenhotep III; Ramses II; Thutmose III; Tutankhamen.


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