\ 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 When a Qatari sheikh came to live in L.A., an entire economy sprouted to meet his wishes. Los Angeles Times, "Essential California: The best California writing of 2020," 24 Dec. 2020 In more than two years since the indictment, the sheikh has continued to lead the Olympic Council of Asia, which his family created, and worked in sports politics. Graham Dunbar, Star Tribune, "Olympic powerbroker to go on trial in Geneva in forgery case," 12 Feb. 2021 The execution of a single dethroned sheikh suddenly paled in significance to my own recent experience at war. Timothy Kudo, Star Tribune, "Two costly wars, and a painful admission: We lost," 24 Nov. 2020 Prosecutors offered jurors Abdel-Rahman's fiery speeches, witness testimony and a recording of his conversation with an FBI informant in which the sheikh said U.S. military installations could be attacked. Larry Neumeister, Star Tribune, "Rare sedition charge gains interest after Capitol attack," 15 Jan. 2021 Badly wounded, the sheikh left Palestine and stopped playing an active role in the war. Ronen Bergman, New York Times, "Isaac Shoshan, Israeli Spy Who Posed as an Arab, Is Dead at 96," 5 Jan. 2021 Since turning professional with the sheikh's organization, Mokaev has gone from unknown rookie to one of the MMA's hottest prospects, recently beating fellow Brit Dave Jones to extend his record to an undefeated 4-0. Ben Morse And Alex Thomas, CNN, "The refugee following in the footsteps of Khabib Nurmagomedov," 21 Dec. 2020 The book’s characters orbit around Osman’s great-grandfather Yusuf, the sheikh of a Sufi monastery in Istanbul, the spiritual heart of a capital intent on severing ties with its Islamic past. Kaya Genç, The New Republic, "When Historical Fiction Is a Crime," 30 Dec. 2020 The sheikh’s ministry paid for the four-day festival in Abu Dhabi, which took place in late February and featured several famous authors., "U.K. Festival Curator Accuses UAE Minister of Sex Assault," 18 Oct. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of sheikh

1577, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sheikh

Arabic shaykh

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sheikh

Statistics for sheikh

Last Updated

5 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sheikh.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sheikh



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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on sheikh

What made you want to look up sheikh? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!