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a male given name: from an Arabic word meaning “exalted.”
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
sharif (ʃæˈriːf)
a variant transliteration of sherif

sherif, shereef or sharif (ʃɛˈriːf)
n , pl ashraf
1.  a descendant of Mohammed through his daughter Fatima
2.  (formerly) the governor of Mecca
3.  an honorific title accorded to any Muslim ruler
[C16: from Arabic sharīf noble]
shereef, shereef or sharif
[C16: from Arabic sharīf noble]
sharif, shereef or sharif
[C16: from Arabic sharīf noble]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1560, shereef, from Arabic sharif "noble, glorious," from sharafa "to be exalted." A descendant of Muhammad through his daughter Fatima.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


Arabic title of respect, restricted, after the advent of Islam, to members of Muhammad's clan of Hashim-in particular, to descendants of his uncles al-'Abbas and Abu Talib and of the latter's son 'Ali by Muhammad's daughter Fatimah. In the Hejaz (western coast of Arabia), the title of sharif is said to have been further restricted to the descendants of Hasan, the elder son of 'Ali and Fatimah. Sharifs originally were heads of prominent families in a town. Later they supplied the local semiautonomous rulers of Mecca and Medina, especially when the cities were under the suzerainty of Baghdad and Cairo, while after the establishment of Ottoman rule, the Ottomans normally recognized the senior representative of the sharifs as prince of Mecca.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Sharif pleaded no contest to conspiracy, insurance fraud and state tax evasion charges.
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