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Pharaoh

[fair-oh, far-oh, fey-roh]
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noun
  1. a title of an ancient Egyptian king.
  2. (lowercase) any person who uses power or authority to oppress others; tyrant.
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Origin of Pharaoh

before 900; Middle English Pharao, Old English Pharaon < Latin pharaō < Greek pharaṓ (stem pharaōn-) < Hebrew phārʿōh < Egyptian pr house + ʿʾ great; originally a designation for the palace, but used to refer to the king from the time of Akhenaton (14th cent. b.c.); -h restored from Hebrew
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for pharaoh

Pharaoh

noun
  1. the title of the ancient Egyptian kings
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Derived FormsPharaonic (fɛəˈrɒnɪk), adjective

Word Origin

Old English Pharaon, via Latin, Greek, and Hebrew ultimately from Egyptian pr-`o great house
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 pharaoh

n.

title of the kings of ancient Egypt, Old English Pharon, from Latin Pharaonem, from Greek Pharao, from Hebrew Par'oh, from Egyptian Pero', literally "great house."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pharaoh in Culture

pharaoh

[(fair-oh, fay-roh)]

The title of the kings of ancient Egypt (see also Egypt). In the story of Joseph and his brothers, a pharaoh puts Joseph in charge of his entire kingdom. In the Book of Exodus, a pharaoh repeatedly refuses the request of Moses to let the Israelites leave the country and does not give in until after the worst of the ten plagues of Egypt.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.