• synonyms


[sah-ib, -eeb]
  1. (in India) sir; master: a term of respect used, especially during the colonial period, when addressing or referring to a European.
  2. (initial capital letter) singular of Ashab.
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Origin of sahib

1690–1700; < Urdu < Arabic ṣāḥib master, literally, friend


plural noun, singular Sa·hib [sah-ib, -eeb] /ˈsɑ ɪb, -ib/. Islam.
  1. those associating with Muhammad at any time in his life.
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Compare Ansar, Muhajirun.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sahib

Historical Examples

  • What do you think will become of the man who shot the Dhah, sahib?

    The Strand Magazine, Volume V, Issue 25, January 1893


  • "It is not him of whom it is a question, Sahib," he replied.

  • And what message would you like for the Sahib to give the boys and girls of America for you?

  • There's a Sahib come to call on me, an' that's more than he'll iver do for you onless you run!

  • He disclosed that I was a sahib, and that I was on my way to Lhassa.

    In the Forbidden Land

    Arnold Henry Savage Landor

British Dictionary definitions for sahib


saheb (ˈsɑːhɛb)

  1. (in India) a form of address or title placed after a man's name or designation, used as a mark of respect
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Word Origin

C17: from Urdu, from Arabic çāhib, literally: friend
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 sahib


respectful address to Europeans in India, 1670s, from Hindi or Urdu sahib "master, lord," from Arabic sahib, originally "friend, companion," from sahiba "he accompanied." Female form ("European lady") is memsahib.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper