• synonyms


[bee-guh m, bey-]
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  1. (in India) a high-ranking Muslim woman, especially a widow.
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Origin of begum1

1625–35; < Urdu begamTurkic begim, apparently a derivative of beg. See bey


verb (used with object), be·gummed, be·gum·ming.
  1. to smear, soil, clog, etc., with or as if with gum or a gummy substance.
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Origin of begum2

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for begum

Historical Examples

  • Vide Sheridan's oration against Hastings upon the Begum charge.

    The Stranger in France

    John Carr

  • I see nothing like it, since he can dress out his sister like a Begum.

    St. Ronan's Well

    Sir Walter Scott

  • "It's a raid on the Begum's palace," explained Archie rapidly.

  • Begum would not go near the skeleton, but appeared to be frightened at it.

    The Mission; or Scenes in Africa

    Captain Frederick Marryat

  • “I saw him and Begum going out together just now,” said the Major.

    The Mission; or Scenes in Africa

    Captain Frederick Marryat

British Dictionary definitions for begum


  1. (in Pakistan and certain other Muslim countries) a woman of high rank, esp the widow of a prince
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Word Origin

C18: from Urdu begam, from Turkish begim; see bey
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