[suhl-tan-uh, -tah-nuh]


a small, seedless raisin.
a wife or a concubine of a sultan.
a sister, daughter, or mother of a sultan.
a mistress, especially of a king or other royal personage.
Also called old amethyst. a deep purplish-red color.

Origin of sultana

1575–85; < Italian, feminine of sultano sultan Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sultana

Historical Examples of sultana

  • Chop also a dozen pippins, and two pounds of sultana raisins.

  • Sultana raisins, naturally seedless, are made from Sultanina and the Sultana.

  • These rags will become cloth of gold on the body of the Sultana of Sultanas.


    Stephen French Whitman

  • These were in turn offered to the Caliph and the Sultana by their surrounding attendants.


    Benjamin Disraeli

  • Yes, you will be a sultana, but I—I shall be dead and I shall never see you again.

    The Nabob

    Alphonse Daudet

British Dictionary definitions for sultana



  1. the dried fruit of a small white seedless grape, originally produced in SW Asia: used in cakes, curries, etc; seedless raisin
  2. the grape itself
Also called: sultaness a wife, concubine, or female relative of a sultan
a mistress; concubine

Word Origin for sultana

C16: from Italian, feminine of sultano sultan
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 sultana

1580s, from Italian sultana, fem. of sultano (see sultan).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper