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sultan

[suhl-tn] /ˈsʌl tn/
noun
1.
the sovereign of an Islamic country.
2.
(often initial capital letter) any of the former sovereigns of Turkey.
3.
any absolute ruler or despot.
Origin
1545-1555
1545-55; < Middle French < Turkish < Arabic sulṭān sovereign
Related forms
sultanic
[suhl-tan-ik] /sʌlˈtæn ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective
sultanlike, adjective
sultanship, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for sultan
  • One lie in the sultan's head will keep out twenty truths.
  • The state of emergency places few limits on the sultan's power.
British Dictionary definitions for sultan

sultan

/ˈsʌltən/
noun
1.
the sovereign of a Muslim country, esp of the former Ottoman Empire
2.
an arbitrary ruler; despot
3.
a small domestic fowl with a white crest and heavily feathered legs and feet: originated in Turkey
Derived Forms
sultanic (sʌlˈtænɪk) adjective
sultan-like, adjective
sultanship, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Medieval Latin sultānus, from Arabic sultān rule, from Aramaic salita to rule
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 sultan
n.

1550s, from Middle French sultan "ruler of Turkey" (16c.), from Arabic sultan "ruler, king, queen, power, dominion," from Aramaic shultana "power," from shelet "have power." His wife, mother, daughter, concubine, or sister is a sultana.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for sultan

originally, according to the Qur'an, moral or spiritual authority; the term later came to denote political or governmental power and from the 11th century was used as a title by Muslim sovereigns. Mahmud of Ghazna (reigned AD 998-1030) was the first Muslim ruler to be called sultan by his contemporaries, and under the Seljuqs of Anatolia and Iran it became a regular title. Thereafter it was frequently conferred on sovereigns by the caliph (titular head of the Muslim community) and came to be used throughout the Islamic world.

Learn more about sultan with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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