[mah-huh-rah-juh, -zhuh]
(formerly) a ruling prince in India, especially of one of the major states.
Also, maharaja.

1690–1700; < Hindi mahārājā great king, equivalent to mahā- great + rājā rajah Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
maharajah or maharaja (ˌmɑːhəˈrɑːdʒə)
any of various Indian princes, esp any of the rulers of the former native states
[C17: Hindi, from mahā great + rajah]
maharaja or maharaja
[C17: Hindi, from mahā great + rajah]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1698, from Hindi, "great king," from Skt. maha "great" (from PIE base *meg- "great;" see magnate) + rajan "king" (see rajah). The fem. equivalent is maharani (1855).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


(from mahat, "great," and rajan, "king"), an administrative rank in India; generally speaking, a Hindu prince ranking above a raja. Used historically, maharaja refers specifically to a ruler of one of the principal native states of India. The feminine form is maharani (maharanee).

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The film follows art stalkers yearning to acquire a maharajah's hidden collection of miniatures.
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