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[sheek, sheyk] /ʃik, ʃeɪk/
Also, shaikh, sheikh. (in Islamic countries) the patriarch of a tribe or family; chief: a term of polite address.
Slang. a man held to be masterful and irresistibly charming to women.
Origin of sheik
1570-80; < Arabic shaykh old man
Related forms
sheiklike, adjective
Can be confused
shake, sheik (see synonym study at shake) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for sheik
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Taking advantage of every bush the Arabs advanced slowly under the direction of their sheik.

    The Dash for Khartoum George Alfred Henty
  • “I believe I do not like your sheik machine,” said I, laughing nervously.

    The Blue Wall Richard Washburn Child
  • Kanemi died in 1835, and was succeeded by his son, sheik Omar, who altogether abolished the nominal kingship of the Sefuwa.

  • As the sheik was turning away to attend to other matters, the woman spoke.

    The Boy Slaves Mayne Reid
  • You are not well,” replied the sheik; “and if I buy you, you cannot walk.

    The Boy Slaves Mayne Reid
Word Origin and History for sheik

"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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for sheik



  1. A newspaper: Both morning sheets have written it up (1749+)
  2. rap sheet: He's a con man with a sheet as long as your arm (Police)

Related Terms

dope sheet, poop sheet, rap sheet, scratch sheet, swindle sheet, three sheets to the wind

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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