• synonyms


or ra·ya

[rah-yuh, rahy-uh]
  1. a Christian subject of an Ottoman ruler.
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Origin of rayah

1805–15; < Turkish reaya < Arabic ra'īyah subject, literally, flock; cf. ryot
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for rayah

Historical Examples of rayah

  • Kassim Pasha is your den, where your rayah loll and scratch in the sun!

    The Moonlit Way

    Robert W. Chambers

  • Rayah, r′ya, n. a non-Mohammedan subject of Turkey who pays the capitation tax.

  • The term by which the Turk described his Christian neighbour was "our rayah," that is, "our subject."

British Dictionary definitions for rayah


  1. (formerly) a non-Muslim subject of the Ottoman EmpireAlso (less common): raia
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Word Origin for rayah

C19: from Turkish raiyye, from Arabic ra`iyah herd, flock
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