ca·​liph·​ate ˈkā-lə-ˌfāt How to pronounce caliphate (audio)
: the office of a caliph or the land he rules over

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The caliphate, which ruled large parts of Europe, Asia and Africa between the 14th and 20th centuries, was known for keeping meticulous records. Eric Betz, Discover Magazine, 12 May 2020 The two-hour assault by helicopter-borne commandos came days after the end of the largest U.S. combat involvement with the Islamic State since the end of its caliphate. New York Times, 12 July 2022 Carter oversaw the initial Pentagon effort to attack the Islamic State militants who had seized huge chunks of Iraq and Syria in 2014 and had established a caliphate. Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY, 26 Oct. 2022 There are still vivid reminders of the smoldering threat posed by Al Qaeda and ISIS, which American intelligence officials say has about 10,000 fighters who have shifted to guerrilla operations in Iraq and Syria since the collapse of the caliphate. New York Times, 12 July 2022 The jihadist group is fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime and establish a caliphate. Matt Seyler, ABC News, 25 Aug. 2022 The regime’s problem with the West is the West’s very existence, which obstructs its path to a global caliphate. Reza Pahlavi, WSJ, 18 Aug. 2022 The most active al-Shabaab and Islamic State profiles are calling for violence and discord ahead of the election, and ultimately establishing an East African caliphate. Emily Dreibelbis, PCMAG, 1 Aug. 2022 Under his helm, al Qaeda failed to carry out spectacular attacks and was eclipsed within the jihadist world by Islamic State, which set up its own territorial caliphate and whose rein of violence was even deadlier and more brutal than al Qaeda’s. Jared Malsin, WSJ, 2 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'caliphate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


see caliph

First Known Use

1594, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of caliphate was in 1594

Dictionary Entries Near caliphate

Cite this Entry

“Caliphate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


ca·​liph·​ate ˈkā-lə-ˌfāt How to pronounce caliphate (audio)
: the office or dominion of a caliph

More from Merriam-Webster on caliphate

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