noun, often capitalized
\ ˈshä How to pronounce shah (audio) , ˈshȯ \

Definition of shah

: a sovereign of Iran

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Other Words from shah

shahdom \ ˈshä-​dəm How to pronounce shah (audio) , ˈshȯ-​ \ noun

Examples of shah in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web After all, the shah relentlessly pursued nuclear capability, sought to dominate his neighborhood and hectored the U.S. to keep its armada out of the Persian Gulf. Ray Takeyh, WSJ, "The Shah, the Mullahs and Iran’s Longstanding Nuclear Ambitions," 10 Dec. 2020 Once the shah was admitted for medical treatment, however, Carter’s fears were realized. Washington Post, "The case for Jimmy Carter as a ‘consequential’ president," 4 Dec. 2020 The shah entered the atomic age standing on the shoulders of others. Ray Takeyh, WSJ, "The Shah, the Mullahs and Iran’s Longstanding Nuclear Ambitions," 10 Dec. 2020 So did the figure that lent it legitimacy, the shah. Isaac Schorr, National Review, "‘Blame America First’ Crowd Resurrects an Old Myth," 3 Dec. 2020 In the late 1970s, Iranian Shias faced a repressive monarch in Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, a shah driven by personal interests in power and wealth and all too willing to brutally censor his own people with secret police and military crackdowns. Jason Schlude, Star Tribune, "A Minnesota scholar shows how we could find common ground with, and through, Shia Islam," 18 Sep. 2020 That blocked Iran from replacing its aging equipment, much of which had been purchased by the shah before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Jon Gambrell, Star Tribune, "6 Gulf Arab countries back extending UN arms embargo on Iran," 9 Aug. 2020 Yet what appears to be just a charming comic romance is in fact a sober indictment of life in shah-era Tehran. David Mermelstein, WSJ, "Fierce Filmmaking Beyond Our Borders," 30 Sep. 2020 In Iran, under occupation by both Britain and the Soviet Union, Willkie took a keen 23-year-old shah on his very first plane ride. Dexter Fergie, The New Republic, "Wendell Willkie’s World Without Borders," 22 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shah.' 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 shah

1566, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for shah

Persian shāh king — more at check

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Statistics for shah

Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shah.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for shah


How to pronounce shah (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of shah

: a king of Iran in past times

More from Merriam-Webster on shah

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shah Encyclopedia article about shah

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