dir·​hem | \ də̇rˈ(h)em \
variants: or less commonly dirham \ -​am How to pronounce dirhem (audio) \
plural dirhems also dirhams

Definition of dirhem

1 : a Muslim unit of weight originally established in Arabia as equal to two thirds of the Attic drachma or nearly 45 grains, later used with varying values in Persia, Turkey, and North Africa, but by the 1930s found as a chief unit only in Egypt, there being equal to about 41 grains
2a : a silver coin of Muslim countries the first issues of which in the 8th century weighed one dirhem
b : a unit of value equivalent to the value of a dirhem coin originally ¹/₁₀ of a dinar
c : an old silver 50-fils piece of Iraq

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History and Etymology for dirhem

Arabic dirham, from Latin drachma drachma

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Cite this Entry

“Dirhem.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dirhem. Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

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