\ 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 One Facebook notice listed five members of one family who died in the fire; a tribal sheikh being treated for Covid-19, his wife and their three sons. New York Times, 25 Apr. 2021 While horse racing people wanted to talk about his money and perseverance, human rights lawyers in the United States and abroad were focused on the sheikh’s role in the disappearance of Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed al-Maktoum, one of his daughters. New York Times, 1 May 2021 The sheikh responded by outlawing the use of anabolic steroids on horses in the UAE. Beth Harris,, 29 Apr. 2021 The sheikh stands accused of abducting his daughters. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, 1 May 2021 The claim was quickly dismissed for innumerable reasons that could be seen on a pastoral drive through the heart of the bluegrass territory where the sheikh has collected farms and fast horses. New York Times, 1 May 2021 The sheikh is well-known in Kentucky racing circles, with his Godolphin operations based at Jonabell Farm in Lexington. Beth Harris,, 29 Apr. 2021 Absent independent confirmation, the sheikh’s claims the princess is safe and being cared for by her family are unpersuasive. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, 29 Apr. 2021 One Facebook notice listed five members of one family who died in the fire: a tribal sheikh being treated for COVID, his wife, and their three sons., 25 Apr. 2021

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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Statistics for sheikh

Last Updated

21 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sheikh.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2021.

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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


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