\ 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 To view David as a marginal Bedouin sheikh would be a mistake, Ben-Yosef thinks. Ruth Margalit, The New Yorker, "In Search of King David’s Lost Empire," 22 June 2020 Enamored by Ali’s presence and steadiness, Ramy convinces himself that his absolution will come under the approval of the sheikh’s watchful eye. Shamira Ibrahim, The Atlantic, "Ramy Meditates on the Pitfalls of Self-Righteousness," 11 June 2020 And no one was more shocked than Youssef when Mahershala Ali signed on for Season 2 of the half-hour series, in a central role, playing a Sufi sheikh. Los Angeles Times, "‘Do not tell anybody you’re Muslim’: ‘Ramy’ stars reflect on Hollywood’s longtime neglect," 4 June 2020 The sheikh initially sought an order forcing the two children to return to Dubai before later dropping the attempt, McFarlane said. Ellen Milligan,, "Dubai Runaway Princess Feared Threats, Found Gun on Her Bed," 8 May 2020 In 1975, his government publicly executed 10 sheikhs who had preached against a new law that gave women equal inheritance rights. Ryan Lenora Brown, The Christian Science Monitor, "Somaliland’s sportswomen are breaking tape – and barriers," 21 Apr. 2020 The sheikh’s lawyers requested that the children be returned to Dubai. Washington Post, "UK court to hear Dubai royal custody dispute on Nov. 11," 31 July 2019 Because of the corruption case, the Kuwaiti sheikh last week also suspended himself from his 26-year IOC membership. Stephen Wade, The Seattle Times, "Olympic ‘kingmaker’ Sheikh Ahmad leaves to handle court case," 28 Nov. 2018 German clubs have largely not attracted big-money investors in the same way as the Premier League, where foreign billionaires and oil-rich sheikhs have poured money into the clubs. Tariq Panja, New York Times, "Germany Prepares for Soccer’s Return," 8 Apr. 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.

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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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The first known use of sheikh was in 1577

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Last Updated

2 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sheikh.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jul. 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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