sheik[s̸hēk; also, for 1 & 2, s̸hāk]
- The definition of a sheik is a leader of an Arabian family or village, or an official in the Muslim religion.
An example of a sheik is a rich and powerful man who is the leader of an Arab tribe and who everyone in the village listens to and obeys.
- the chief of an Arab family, tribe, or village
- an official in the Muslim religious organization
Origin of sheikafter E. M. Hull's novel, The Sheik (1921)Slang a masterful man to whom women are irresistibly attracted
Origin of sheikArabic shaikh, literally , old man ; from shākha, to grow old
- The leader of an Arab village, family or small tribe.
- (colloquial) An Islamic religious clergy; the leader of an Islamic religious order.
- (some Arab Gulf countries) An official title for members of the royal family as well as some prominent families.
- (1920s) A romantic lover. (from the 1921 film The Sheikh)
- (slang) An Arab, especially one dressed in traditional clothing.
- An honorific for specialists in spirituality.
The use for a religious leader is colloquial as a means of respect. There is no official title.
From Arabic شيخ (šaykh), from شاخ (šākha, “to age, grow old”).