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[sheek, sheyk] /ʃik, ʃeɪk/
Also, shaikh, sheikh. (in Islamic countries) the patriarch of a tribe or family; chief: a term of polite address.
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 forms
sheiklike, adjective
Can be confused
shake, sheik (see synonym study at shake) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for sheikh


noun (in Muslim countries)
  1. the head of an Arab tribe, village, etc
  2. a venerable old man
  3. a high priest or religious leader, esp a Sufi master
Word Origin
C16: from Arabic shaykh old man
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sheikh



"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
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Slang definitions & phrases for sheikh



A handsome, sleek, romantic male lover; a ladies' man


To attempt to captivate; charm; seduce: Are you sheiking me, Ralph?

[1924+; fr the 1921 movie The Sheikh, starring Rudolph Valentino]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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