sul·​tan ˈsəl-tᵊn How to pronounce sultan (audio)
: a king or sovereign especially of a Muslim state
sultanic adjective

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Another sultan, Abdul Hamid II, was interested when French engineers proposed it to him in 1892, but there was no progress. Lisa Morrow, CNN, 26 Dec. 2022 President Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended, along with the king of Spain, the sultan of Oman and Japan’s Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako. WSJ, 19 Sep. 2022 Although the head sultan of Nigeria is very supportive of the vaccination campaign, rumors have circulated in the country that the polio vaccine is a Western plot to sterilize children. Todd Pitock, Discover Magazine, 2 Jan. 2013 Ottoman sultan Mehmed II wages an epic campaign to take the Byzantine capital of Constantinople, shaping the course of history for centuries. Travis Bean, Forbes, 29 Dec. 2022 The sultan deluges Sami Pasha with telegrams that contravene his efforts at quarantine enforcement. Judith Shulevitz, The Atlantic, 30 Sep. 2022 The 16th-century sultan rebuilt the Ottoman fleet and Haliç Tershanesi, the Golden Horn shipyards. Lisa Morrow, CNN, 26 Dec. 2022 The accounts of the 1888 event are compelling because they were written by local high-ranking officials, including the regional governor, and forwarded to the sultan. Eric Betz, Discover Magazine, 12 May 2020 The sultan in his northern capital had built up quite a collection. Salman Rushdie, The New Yorker, 5 Dec. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sultan.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle French, from Arabic sulṭān

First Known Use

1555, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sultan was in 1555

Dictionary Entries Near sultan

Cite this Entry

“Sultan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


sul·​tan ˈsəlt-ᵊn How to pronounce sultan (audio)
: a king or ruler especially of a Muslim state
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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