A prince, chief, or ruler in India or the East Indies.
Origin of rajaHindi rājā from Sanskrit king ; see reg- in Indo-European roots.Word History: Raja is familiar to us from the Sanskrit rājā, “king,” and mahārājā, “great king.” The Sanskrit root raj-, “to rule,” comes from the Indo-European root *reg-, “to move in a straight line, direct, rule.” The same root appears in Italic (Latin) and Celtic. Rēx means “king” in Latin, coming from *reg-s, whence our regal and, through French, royal. Two of the Gaulish kings familiar to us from Caesar, Dumnorix and Vercingetorix, incorporate the Celtic word rīx, “king,” in their names. ( Rīx also forms part of the name of that fictitious Gaul Asterix. ) Germanic at some time borrowed the Celtic word rīx. It appears as reiks, “ruler,” in Gothic, as well as in older Germanic names ending in -ric, such as Alaric and Theodoric, the latter of whom has a name that is equivalent to German Dietrich, “people's king.” A derivative of Celtic rīx, *rīg-yo-, meaning “rule, domain,” was also borrowed into Germanic, and is the source of German Reich, “rule, empire.”