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[she-reef] /ʃɛˈrif/
a governor of Mecca descended from Muhammad.
an Arab chief, prince, or ruler.
Also, sharif, shereef.
Origin of sherif
1590-1600; < Arabic sharīf exalted (person) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sherif
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • sherif Mahmud was a small thin man about fifty years of age, full of wiry strength and with evil, malignant-looking eyes.

  • But the sherif must have thought us mad, and never troubled to come and see how we got on.

    Lord Jim Joseph Conrad
  • sherif,” he said, “maybe El Masgad prays for you and me, as well as for its kind?

    Brought Forward R. B. Cunninghame Graham
  • But it happened that in a few weeks sherif had occasion to journey to the island of Abba.

    The River War Winston S. Churchill
  • Though the sherif paid no attention to it, the scene he rode through was like fairyland.

    Brought Forward R. B. Cunninghame Graham
  • He was jealous of sherif and envied him his sanctimonious disciples.

    The River War Winston S. Churchill
  • I was no longer at Cairo when the news of sherif's resignation on the 2nd of February reached me.

  • He had no wish for a Constitution, but he could not say "no" when sherif pressed him.

British Dictionary definitions for sherif


noun (Islam) (pl) ashraf
a descendant of Mohammed through his daughter Fatima
(formerly) the governor of Mecca
an honorific title accorded to any Muslim ruler
Word Origin
C16: from Arabic sharīf noble
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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