ˈshä How to pronounce shah (audio)
often capitalized
: a sovereign of Iran
ˈshä-dəm How to pronounce shah (audio)

Examples of shah in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web On the day of that release, the U.S. transferred $400 million in cash to Iran by coordinating an airlift of foreign currency on an unmarked plane flown into the country with a first installment of a nearly $2 billion long-outstanding legal settlement with Tehran from the years of the shah's rule. Margaret Brennan, CBS News, 10 Aug. 2023 Although Evin has remained open, the authorities closed the shah’s older jail in central Tehran and turned it into the Ebrat Museum to showcase the shah’s brutality, complete with waxwork figures of torture victims. Kian Tajbakhsh, The Atlantic, 1 Nov. 2022 That visit came about 15 months before the shah was overthrown in Iran’s Islamic Revolution. Aamer Madhani, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 June 2023 In 1983 the hijab became mandatory after the last shah was overthrown in the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Celine Alkhaldi, CNN, 2 Aug. 2023 When the shah was deposed and the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini took power, Dr. Naderi left Iran and never went back. Emily Langer, Washington Post, 24 June 2023 In 1977, President Jimmy Carter hosted Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the shah of Iran, and his wife for a state visit. Aamer Madhani, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 June 2023 At the time, the U.S. still designated the MEK as a terrorist organization over its militant campaigns that opposed the U.S.-backed shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, along with the killing of U.S. citizens in Iran in the 1970s, followed by an attack on U.S. soil in 1992. Caitlin McFall, Fox News, 20 June 2023 At the end of the year, opposition activists organized a three-day general strike that nearly shut down the country—actions reminiscent of those that preceded the fall of the shah of Iran in 1979. Lucan Ahmad Way, Foreign Affairs, 20 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'shah.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Persian shāh king — more at check

First Known Use

1566, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of shah was in 1566

Dictionary Entries Near shah

Cite this Entry

“Shah.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


ˈshä How to pronounce shah (audio)
: a ruler of Iran until the 1979 revolution

More from Merriam-Webster on shah

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