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

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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

After Taharqa, there was only one more black pharaoh. National Geographic, "Episode 4: Scuba diving in a pyramid," 2 July 2019 And Susan thinks that Tiye wanted her son, Pentawere, to become the next pharaoh. National Geographic, "Episode 6: Harem Conspiracy Papyrus," 16 July 2019 Then visit the eerie Royal Mummies Hall to see the remains of illustrious Egyptian rulers, including Ramses II and the female pharaoh Hatshepsut. National Geographic, "Egypt Private Expedition," 12 June 2019 However, Egypt claims the relic of the famed pharaoh was stolen. Charlie D'agata, CBS News, "King Tut sculpture sells for $6 million amid controversy," 4 July 2019 Billy Porter arrived on the Met Gala red carpet tonight dressed as a gilded, winged Egyptian pharaoh. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Billy Porter Arrived on the Met Gala Red Carpet Fully Dressed as an Egyptian Sun God," 6 May 2019 His newest title has a hoary theme: plundering a pharaoh's tomb for treasure. Nate Anderson, Ars Technica, "A quick look at the nominees for 2018’s “Board Game of the Year”," 21 July 2018 Dedicated to the goddess, the obelisk was also an offering for the welfare of the Roman emperor (and Egyptian pharaoh) Domitian. Susan Delson, WSJ, "Blend Like an Egyptian: Multicultural Art, Pharaoh-Style," 22 Mar. 2018 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

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

6 Sep 2019

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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 How to pronounce pharaoh (audio) \

Kids Definition of pharaoh

: a ruler of ancient Egypt

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Comments on pharaoh

What made you want to look up pharaoh? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to spread over or through

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