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sheik

[sheek, sheyk]
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noun
  1. Also shaikh, sheikh. (in Islamic countries) the patriarch of a tribe or family; chief: a term of polite address.
  2. Slang. a man held to be masterful and irresistibly charming to women.

Origin of sheik

First recorded in 1570–80, sheik is from the Arabic word shaykh old man
Related formssheik·like, adjective
Can be confusedshake sheik (see synonym study at shake)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sheik

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Certainly, sheik; it will not take him five minutes to make his preparations.

    At Aboukir and Acre

    George Alfred Henty

  • When the sheik woke, after two hours' sleep, he drank some broth.

    At Aboukir and Acre

    George Alfred Henty

  • The hammock had been lowered to the ground, and Ali was holding the cup to the sheik's lips.

    At Aboukir and Acre

    George Alfred Henty

  • "Don't say any thing about it, sheik," Edgar said earnestly.

    At Aboukir and Acre

    George Alfred Henty

  • "Let us not talk more of them," the sheik said contemptuously.

    At Aboukir and Acre

    George Alfred Henty


Word Origin and History for sheik

n.

"head of an Arab family," also "head of a Muslim religious order," 1570s, from Arabic shaykh "chief," literally "old man," from base of shakha "to grow old." Popularized by "The Sheik," novel in Arabian setting by E.M. Hull (1919), and the movie version, "The Sheikh," 1921, starring Rudolph Valentino, which gave it a 1920s sense of "strong, romantic lover."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper