\ ˈshēk How to pronounce sheikh (audio) also ˈshāk for sense 1 \
variants: or sheik

Definition of sheikh

1 : an Arab chief
2 usually sheik : a man held to be irresistibly attractive to romantic young women

Examples of sheikh in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Some of the challenges are enshrined in the law devised some 20 years ago after an inquiry that followed Sophie's, brush with the fake sheikh. Anchorage Daily News, "Queen agrees to let Harry and Meghan live part time in Canada," 13 Jan. 2020 After hours of tense standoff, a few protesters and some elderly tribal sheikhs were permitted to enter the shrine and inspect it., "Fresh protests gather in Najaf, amid talks over new premier - The Boston Globe," 4 Dec. 2019 But, curiously, the sheikh—who had skipped preliminary hearings in July and October—had again decided not to appear. Joshua Hammer, Town & Country, "The Runaway Princesses of Dubai," 11 Dec. 2019 Born to a woman owned by the local sheikh, Zarifa was sold to Merchant Sulayman at the age of sixteen. James Wood, The New Yorker, "An Omani Novel Exposes Marriage and Its Miseries," 7 Oct. 2019 He had been charged with taking a $50,000 bribe, on videotape, from an undercover agent posing as an Arab sheikh in return for a promise of political favors. Robert D. Mcfadden, New York Times, "Plato Cacheris, Washington ‘Super Lawyer’ in Headline Cases, Dies at 90," 26 Sep. 2019 If someone is killed, tribal sheikhs get together to find a resolution. San Diego Union-Tribune, "From IS camp, Syrian family returns home to a hostile city," 22 Sep. 2019 Television revenue had far outstripped gate receipts as the major source of a club’s income, and the age of the oligarchs, hedge funds and sheikhs had begun. Jonathan Wilson,, "Arsenal's Pepe Signing an Admirable Risk, But Won't Fix Club's Structural Problems," 1 Aug. 2019 Princess Haya has not been seen recently or spoken publicly about her departure, and the sheikh’s poems do not identify the subject by name. David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times, "Another Dubai Princess Defects. Anguished Poetry Ensues.," 2 July 2019

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

1577, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sheikh

Arabic shaykh

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Time Traveler for sheikh

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The first known use of sheikh was in 1577

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Last Updated

17 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sheikh.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for sheikh


How to pronounce sheikh (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sheikh

: an Arab chief, ruler, or prince
: a leader of a Muslim organization or group


variants: or sheik \ ˈshēk , ˈshāk \

Kids Definition of sheikh

1 : an Arab chief
2 : a leader of a Muslim group

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More from Merriam-Webster on sheikh

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sheikh

Spanish Central: Translation of sheikh

Nglish: Translation of sheikh for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sheikh for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about sheikh

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