Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A leader of an Islamic polity, regarded as a successor of Muhammad and by tradition always male.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun See calif, califate.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Successor or vicar; the civil and religious leader of a Muslim state; -- a title of the successors of Mohammed both as temporal and spiritual rulers, used formerly by the sultans of Turkey.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The political leader of the Muslim world, successor of Muhammad's political authority, not religious or spiritual.

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

  • noun the civil and religious leader of a Muslim state considered to be a representative of Allah on earth

Etymologies

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

[Middle English calife, from Old French, from Arabic ḫalīfa, successor (to Muhammad), caliph, from ḫalafa, to succeed; see ḫlp in Semitic roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Arabic خليفة (khalīfä).

Examples

  • The Ottoman sultans then claimed the title of caliph and brandished it for four centuries until Kamal Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic, abolished it in 1924.

    Harris Zafar: Demystifying 'Caliphate'

  • The Ottoman sultans then claimed the title of caliph and brandished it for four centuries until Kamal Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic, abolished it in 1924.

    Harris Zafar: Demystifying 'Caliphate'

  • The Ottoman sultans then claimed the title of caliph and brandished it for four centuries until Kamal Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic, abolished it in 1924.

    Harris Zafar: Demystifying 'Caliphate'

  • The Ottoman sultans then claimed the title of caliph and brandished it for four centuries until Kamal Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic, abolished it in 1924.

    Harris Zafar: Demystifying 'Caliphate'

  • The Ottoman sultan seized the title of caliph from the Arabs and moved the capital of the Islamic empire to Istanbul formerly Constantinople.

    The Coming Revolution

  • The caliph was the “commander of the faithful,” the political and military leader of the worldwide community of Muslims, and the city where he lived was the caliphate—the capital of the Muslim world.

    Day of Honey

  • The caliph was the “commander of the faithful,” the political and military leader of the worldwide community of Muslims, and the city where he lived was the caliphate—the capital of the Muslim world.

    Day of Honey

  • In these times, to be called a caliph you must have money.

    Strictly business: more stories of the four million

  • He was called the caliph, a word which means SUCCESSOR; and this title has been borne ever since by the religious chief of the Mohammedans.

    Famous Men of the Middle Ages

  • 'Effendi, do you think that a man can conquer Syria, who is not called a caliph?

    Sketches

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