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khan1

[kahn, kan]
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noun
  1. (in the Altaic group of languages) a title held by hereditary rulers or tribal chiefs.
  2. the supreme ruler of the Tatar tribes, as well as emperor of China, during the Middle Ages: a descendant of Genghis Khan.
  3. a title of respect used in Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and other countries of Asia.
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Origin of khan1

1350–1400; Middle English Ca(a)n, ChanTurkic Khān, apparently contraction of Khāgān, equivalent to Turkish kağan ruler

khan2

[kahn, kan]
noun
  1. an inn or caravansary.
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Origin of khan2

1350–1400; < Arabic < Persian; replacing Middle English alchan < Arabic (al the + khān)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for khan

khan1

noun
    1. (formerly) a title borne by medieval Chinese emperors and Mongol and Turkic rulers: usually added to a nameKublai Khan
    2. such a ruler
  1. a title of respect borne by important personages in Afghanistan and central Asia
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Word Origin

C14: from Old French caan, from Medieval Latin caanus, from Turkish khān, contraction of khāqān ruler

khan2

noun
  1. an inn in Turkey, certain Arab countries, etc; caravanserai
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Word Origin

C14: via Arabic from Persian

Khan

noun
  1. See Imran Khan
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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 khan

n.

c.1400, from Turkic, literally "lord, prince," contraction of khaqan "ruler, sovereign." Known in Europe since 13c., cf. Latin chanis, Greek kanes, Old French chan.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper