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caliph

[key-lif, kal-if] /ˈkeɪ lɪf, ˈkæl ɪf/
noun
1.
a spiritual leader of Islam, claiming succession from Muhammad.
2.
any of the former Muslim rulers of Baghdad (until 1258) and of the Ottoman Empire (from 1571 until 1924).
Also, calif, kalif, kaliph, khalif.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English caliphe, califfe < Middle French < Medieval Latin calipha < Arabic khalīf(a) successor (of Muhammad), derivative of khalafa succeed
Related forms
caliphal
[kal-uh-fuh l, key-luh-] /ˈkæl ə fəl, ˈkeɪ lə-/ (Show IPA),
adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for caliph
  • Even if the ruler was not law-abiding, the scholars still did not spontaneously declare a sitting caliph disqualified.
  • Shaggy forsaking the solving of mysteries so that they'll have time to spin tales for a cranky caliph.
  • We know from our own time what the caliph was dreading.
  • She helps them to discover that the caliph's greedy brother had plotted with the magician to become ruler.
British Dictionary definitions for caliph

caliph

/ˈkeɪlɪf; ˈkæl-/
noun
1.
(Islam) the title of the successors of Mohammed as rulers of the Islamic world, later assumed by the Sultans of Turkey
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, from Arabic khalīfa successor
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
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Word Origin and History for caliph
n.

late 14c., from Old French caliphe (12c., also algalife), from Medieval Latin califa, from Arabic khalifa "successor," originally Abu-Bakr, who succeeded Muhammad in the role of leader of the faithful after the prophet's death.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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13
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