sha·​rif shə-ˈrēf How to pronounce sharif (audio)
variants or less commonly
: a descendant of the prophet Muhammad through his daughter Fatima
broadly : one of noble ancestry or political preeminence in predominantly Islamic countries
sharifian adjective

Examples of sharif in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web 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, 22 Oct. 2020

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

Word History


Arabic sharīf, literally, illustrious

First Known Use

1599, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sharif was in 1599

Dictionary Entries Near sharif

Cite this Entry

“Sharif.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Biographical Definition


biographical name

Sha·​rif shä-ˈrēf How to pronounce Sharif (audio)
Nawaz 1949–     prime minister of Pakistan (1990–93; 1997–99; 2013–2017)

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