[sheek, sheyk]


Also shaikh, sheikh. (in Islamic countries) the patriarch of a tribe or family; chief: a term of polite address.
Slang. a man held to be masterful and irresistibly charming to women.

Nearby words

  1. sheffield lake,
  2. sheffield plate,
  3. sheffield shield,
  4. shegetz,
  5. shehitah,
  6. sheika,
  7. sheikdom,
  8. sheikh,
  9. sheikhdom,
  10. sheila

Origin of sheik

First recorded in 1570–80, sheik is from the Arabic word shaykh old man

Related formssheik·like, adjective

Can be confusedshake sheik (see synonym study at shake) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sheik

Word Origin and History for sheik



"head of an Arab family," also "head of a Muslim religious order," 1570s, from Arabic shaykh "chief," literally "old man," from base of shakha "to grow old." Popularized by "The Sheik," novel in Arabian setting by E.M. Hull (1919), and the movie version, "The Sheikh," 1921, starring Rudolph Valentino, which gave it a 1920s sense of "strong, romantic lover."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper