calif

[key-lif, kal-if]

caliph

or ca·lif, ka·lif, ka·liph, kha·lif

[key-lif, kal-if]
noun
  1. a spiritual leader of Islam, claiming succession from Muhammad.
  2. any of the former Muslim rulers of Baghdad (until 1258) and of the Ottoman Empire (from 1571 until 1924).

Origin of caliph

1350–1400; Middle English caliphe, califfe < Middle French < Medieval Latin calipha < Arabic khalīf(a) successor (of Muhammad), derivative of khalafa succeed
Related formscal·iph·al [kal-uh-fuh l, key-luh-] /ˈkæl ə fəl, ˈkeɪ lə-/, adjective

Calif.

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

Examples from the Web for calif

Historical Examples of calif


British Dictionary definitions for calif

calif

noun
  1. a variant spelling of caliph

Calif.

abbreviation for
  1. California

caliph

calif, kalif or khalif

noun
  1. Islam the title of the successors of Mohammed as rulers of the Islamic world, later assumed by the Sultans of Turkey

Word Origin for caliph

C14: from Old French, from Arabic khalīfa successor
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

Word Origin and History for calif

caliph

n.

late 14c., from Old French caliphe (12c., also algalife), from Medieval Latin califa, from Arabic khalifa "successor," originally Abu-Bakr, who succeeded Muhammad in the role of leader of the faithful after the prophet's death.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper