Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A Muslim woman of rank.
  • n. Used as a form of address for such a woman.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a high ranking Muslim woman, especially in India and Pakistan
  • n. the form of address for such a woman

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. In the East Indies, a princess or lady of high rank.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To daub or cover with gum.
  • n. The title of a Hindu princess or lady of high rank.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a Muslim woman of high rank in India or Pakistan

Etymologies

Urdu begam, from East Turkic begüm, first person sing. possessive of beg, master, mistress; see bey.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Urdu بیگم and Hindi बेगम (begam, "lady"), from East Turkic begüm (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "T hink the word begum and you conjure up an image of a Nawabi woman who leads a disciplined life behind the veil.

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  • She just lifted her head high, like a great begum who had been deeply offended in her own home, and solemnly retreated to the kitchen.

    The Hundred-Foot Journey

  • So simultaneously I remember my maternal grandmother Nazmi begum wife of late Daroga Nabban Saab of Pata Nala who would visit us and add the charm of LUcknow that we hardly knew I talk of circa 1955 .

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  • MacGarry, he was, hand to dagger, that time and their mother, a rawkneepudsfrowse, I was given to understand, with superflow-vius heirs, begum.

    Finnegans Wake

  • Indian begum rolling in wealth, no countess mistress of castles and townhouses, ever had such a faithful toady as Hannah Hicks was to her mistress.

    The Newcomes

  • It is the fourth week of school and the whining, excuses and excessive absenteeism has begum.

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  • For fifteen years, my dear boy, have I argued with my begum, for fifteen years, and never gained a point, yet the missionaries inform us our women are down-trodden.

    A Passage To India

  • I fancy she must have inherited it from an Indian ancestress, for her great-great-grandfather rescued a begum on her way to be burnt on her husband's funeral pyre.

    From out the Vasty Deep

  • Sumdun Begum, _samdhan begum_, a connexion by marriage

    Observations on the Mussulmauns of India Descriptive of Their Manners, Customs, Habits and Religious Opinions Made During a Twelve Years' Residence in Their Immediate Society

  • There are some, however, which yet may be in a transition state; and others in which, although changes are threatened, still it cannot be said that the changes are begum I have been led to a consideration of impending alterations as likely to take place, by the recent appearance of two very remarkable and very interesting papers on subjects closely connected with great social Scottish questions, where a revolution of opinion may be expected.

    Reminiscences of Scottish Life and Character

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Comments

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  • roughly synonymous to Mrs.

    June 25, 2009