Share this entry

sultan Line breaks: sul¦tan
Pronunciation: /ˈsʌlt(ə)n/

Definition of sultan in English:


1A Muslim sovereign.
Example sentences
  • Balian did in fact play a crucial role as a Crusader noble in the events surrounding the fall of Jerusalem in 1187 to the Muslim sultan Saladin.
  • This is a deeply moving drama in which the wise Nathan acts as a mediator between Saladin, the Muslim sultan, and Conrad, an intemperate templar knight.
  • By the end of the twelfth century, Muslim sultans had come to ascendancy in Gujarat, marking the onset of many centuries of Islamic power in the region - and the end of the glory days of the Hindu stepwell.
1.1 (the Sultan) historical The sultan of Turkey.
Example sentences
  • In June, the Sultan had an Assassin try to murder Prince Edward.
  • Now, though, the Caliph was under the thumb of a new power: the Turk who ruled in the name of the Caliph took the title of Sultan.
  • The third disc features the film Abul the Damned, a feature length thriller set in turn of the century Turkey, with Fritz Kortner playing the sultan of Turkey.
2A bird of a breed of white domestic chicken from Turkey.
Example sentences
  • The chicken breed called Sultan, are a very old breed, which originated in Southeastern Europe.
  • Sultans are noted for their long, hard feathers that grow from the thigh area.
  • Another very attractive chicken is the Sultan, which is one of the feather-footed breeds.


Mid 16th century: from French, or from medieval Latin sultanus, from Arabic sulṭān 'power, ruler'.



Pronunciation: /ˈsʌlt(ə)neɪt/
Example sentences
  • The Muslim settlers didn't just bring their religion and architecture, however - they also brought their political system, establishing a series of sultanates in the southern Philippines.
  • In many respects the government has allowed the northern sultanates to apply their own laws in their dominions, and in return the leaders of these ministates lend their support to national governmental structures.
  • A domino effect might also claim oil-rich sultanates such as Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, taking out another 15 per cent of those reserves.

Definition of sultan in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day coiffeur
Pronunciation: kwɑːˈfəː
a hairdresser