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 He was recruited by the Mossad in 1964 and given field assignments that included Tehran during the pro-Western rule of the shah, who was toppled in the 1979 Islamic revolution. Brian Murphy, Washington Post, 13 Sep. 2023 The enduring hostility felt toward Israel is in no small part due to its close ties with the shah and Israel’s role in his sustained oppression of the Iranian people. Aaron Pilkington, The Conversation, 8 Oct. 2023 This organization relied on increasingly harsh tactics to put down dissenters during the shah’s last two decades in power, including mass imprisonment, torture, disappearances, forced exile and killing thousands of Iranians. Aaron Pilkington, Fortune, 8 Oct. 2023 In Iran during the 1979 revolution that toppled the monarchy, a massive protest on Ashura became a turning point against the shah. Farnaz Fassihi,, 13 Aug. 2023 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 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 8 Dec. 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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