noun, often capitalized
pha·raoh | \ ˈfer-(ˌ)ō , ˈfā-(ˌ)rō \

Definition of pharaoh 

1 : a ruler of ancient Egypt

2 : tyrant

Examples of pharaoh in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

Black-and-white scans of Burton’s images detail finds ranging from a ceremonial robe to the head of the pharaoh himself. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Rare Photographs Put Focus on Egyptians Who Worked Alongside Carter to Excavate Tutankhamun’s Tomb," 9 July 2018 From Heaven King Tut had a dagger made of iron—a treasured object in the ancient world worthy of few more than a pharaoh. Jonathan Schifman, Popular Mechanics, "The Entire History of Steel," 9 July 2018 Three Egyptian pharaohs overseeing tens of thousands of workers built the iconic structures at Giza within a 70-year spa... Enter your email address for instant access! Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "Giza Pyramids," 15 June 2018 Traces of hieroglyphs above the figure’s head use female pronouns, which also helped the confirm that the image was a female pharaoh. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Rare Image of Early Female Pharaoh Found in University Collection," 26 Mar. 2018 The king did indeed send one of his sons, who was killed on the border of Egypt by a general called Horemheb (who became the last pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty of Egypt). Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Archaeologists Could Be Close to Finding the Tomb of King Tut’s Wife," 19 Jan. 2018 One of their beliefs was that pharaoh would never die until his name was uttered for the very last time. Chris Erskine,, "Readers reach out with tips, poetry, kindness, compassion," 30 Mar. 2018 While many explorers and archaeologists have sought to understand King Tut, photographer Sandro Vannini is the man who, for the past two decades, has captured the fine details of the pharaoh. Chris Giles, CNN, "Stunning photos capture Egypt's ancient underworld," 27 Mar. 2018 Analysis of the armor, however, could shed new light on the ancient pharaoh. James Rogers, Fox News, "King Tutankhamun bombshell? Mysterious pharaoh may have been a boy soldier," 26 Mar. 2018

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

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First Known Use of pharaoh

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pharaoh

Middle English pharao, from Old English, from Late Latin pharaon-, pharao, from Greek pharaō, from Hebrew parʽōh, from Egyptian pr-ʽʾ̹

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Statistics for pharaoh

Last Updated

9 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for pharaoh

The first known use of pharaoh was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for pharaoh



English Language Learners Definition of pharaoh

: a ruler of ancient Egypt


noun, often capitalized
pha·raoh | \ ˈfer-ō \

Kids Definition of pharaoh

: a ruler of ancient Egypt

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