sha·​rif | \ shə-ˈrēf How to pronounce sharif (audio) \
variants: or less commonly

Definition of sharif

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a descendant of the prophet Muhammad through his daughter Fatima broadly : one of noble ancestry or political preeminence in predominantly Islamic countries


biographical name
Sha·​rif | \ shä-ˈrēf How to pronounce Sharif (audio) \

Definition of Sharif (Entry 2 of 2)

Nawaz 1949–     prime minister of Pakistan (1990–93; 1997–99; 2013–2017)

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Other Words from sharif


sharifian \ shə-​ˈrē-​fē-​ən How to pronounce Sharif (audio) \ adjective

Examples of sharif in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The unlikely kingdom was a consolation prize for Abdullah, the second son of Hussein, the sharif of Mecca, whose family, the Hashemites, were descendants of the Prophet Muhammad. Ursula Lindsey, The New York Review of Books, "Jordan’s Endless Transition," 6 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sharif.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of sharif


1599, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sharif


Arabic sharīf, literally, illustrious

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Cite this Entry

“Sharif.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

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