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

  • n. A ruler of a Muslim country, especially of the former Ottoman Empire.
  • n. A powerful person: a sultan of vice and corruption.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Originally, a secular office, formally subordinate to -, but de facto the power behind the throne of the (theoretically universal) caliph.
  • n. A hereditary ruler in various Muslim states (sultanate), varying from petty principalities (as in Indonesia and in Yemen), often vassal of a greater ruler, to independent realms, such as Oman, Brunei, or an empire such as the Turkish Ottoman Empire.
  • n. A variant of solitaire, played with two decks of cards.
  • n. A breed of chicken originating in Turkey, kept primarily in gardens for ornamental reasons. See: sultan (chicken)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A ruler, or sovereign, of a Mohammedan state; specifically, the ruler of the Turks; the Padishah, or Grand Seignior; -- officially so called.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A Mohammedan sovereign: as, the Sultan of Zanzibar or of Morocco; by way of eminence, the ruler of Turkey, who assumes the title of Sultan of sultans; in old use, any ruler.
  • n. In ornithology, a purple or hyacinthine gallinule, or porphyrio; a bird of either of the genera Porphyrio and Ionornis, belonging to the rail family, Rallidæ: so called from their gorgeous coloration. The American sultan is Ionornis martinica. See the generic names, and gallinule. Also called sultana.
  • n. An ornamental variety of the domestic hen, of small size and pure-white plumage, and having the head heavily crested and bearded, beak white, legs blue, shanks feathered, and toes five.
  • n. Either of two garden-flowers, Centaurea moschata, the sweet sultan, with purple or white flowers, and C. suaveolens, the yellow sultan: both often classed as Amberboa.

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

  • n. the ruler of a Muslim country (especially of the former Ottoman Empire)


French, from Old French, ruler of Turkey, from Turkish, from Arabic sulṭān, from Aramaic šulṭānā, ruler, from šəlaṭ, to rule; see šlṭ in Semitic roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old French, from Turkish sultan, from Arabic سلطان (sulṭān), from Aramaic  (šultānā, "strength, authority"). (Wiktionary)


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