noun, often capitalized
pha·​raoh | \ ˈfer-(ˌ)ō How to pronounce pharaoh (audio) , ˈfā-(ˌ)rō How to pronounce pharaoh (audio) \

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 In the first episode, that includes Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt and an Egyptian pharaoh. Scott D. Pierce, The Salt Lake Tribune, 5 June 2022 Shimmering in gold, like a mosquito encased in amber, Mueller lay supine, arms crossed in front of her like an Egyptian pharaoh. Jessica Ferri, Los Angeles Times, 21 Apr. 2022 There is no archaeological evidence of iron smelting in Egypt until the 6th century BCE, and the earliest known example of Egyptian use of metallic iron dates to around 3400 BCE—before Egypt became a single state ruled by a pharaoh around 3000 BC. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 23 Feb. 2022 He wasn't considered an especially important pharaoh in the grand scheme of things, but the treasures that were recovered from his tomb in the 1920s are what led to his fame. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 23 Feb. 2022 But an autopsy of the mummy revealed that the famous pharaoh with the fabulous treasure was only a teen-ager. Casey Cep, The New Yorker, 7 Feb. 2022 Enlarge / Historical engraving of the mummy of ancient Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep I (1888). Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 3 Jan. 2022 Enlarge / Royal mummy of Amenhotep I, the second pharaoh of the 18th dynasty, at Cairo Museum, Egypt. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 3 Jan. 2022 The pharaoh also had a narrow chin, a small narrow nose, curly hair, and mildly protruding upper teeth, Saleem said. Katie Hunt, CNN, 28 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

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

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Pharaoh's chicken

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Last Updated

12 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pharaoh.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for pharaoh


noun, often capitalized
pha·​raoh | \ ˈfer-ō How to pronounce pharaoh (audio) \

Kids Definition of pharaoh

: a ruler of ancient Egypt

More from Merriam-Webster on pharaoh

Nglish: Translation of pharaoh for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pharaoh for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about pharaoh


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