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sheik

[sheek, sheyk]
noun
  1. Also shaikh, sheikh. (in Islamic countries) the patriarch of a tribe or family; chief: a term of polite address.
  2. Slang. a man held to be masterful and irresistibly charming to women.
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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)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sheikh

Contemporary Examples of sheikh

Historical Examples of sheikh

  • Well, they couldn't make it, because the tomb of a popular saint or sheikh was in the way.

    It Happened in Egypt

    C. N. Williamson

  • Somebody's trying to defeat my scheme for getting the sheikh's tomb moved.

    It Happened in Egypt

    C. N. Williamson

  • Our Scribe, at least, is persuaded that Sheikh Taleb spoke as a friend.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • And let the sheikh and the priest and the rabbi embrace on that very Stump and make up.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • And Wisdom in the person of Sheikh Taleb now knocks at thy door.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani


British Dictionary definitions for sheikh

sheikh

sheik

noun (in Muslim countries)
    1. the head of an Arab tribe, village, etc
    2. a venerable old man
    3. a high priest or religious leader, esp a Sufi master
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Word Origin for sheikh

C16: from Arabic shaykh old man
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 sheikh

sheik

n.

"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."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper