Share this entry

Share this page

pharaoh

Syllabification: phar·aoh
Pronunciation: /ˈferō
 
/

Definition of pharaoh in English:

noun

A ruler in ancient Egypt.
Example sentences
  • According to most beliefs, pyramids were built with the help of great armies of slaves, by the ancient pharaohs of Egypt as tombs for preserving their royal bodies.
  • Such iron was used in making the sacred crook of Osiris held by the pharaohs of Egypt.
  • In dynastic Egypt, pharaohs celebrated the ‘Sed’ festival at Karnak in which the king was ritually killed and reborn, symbolising the replenishment of his energies.

Origin

Middle English: via ecclesiastical Latin from Greek Pharaō, from Hebrew par῾ōh, from Egyptian pr-῾o 'great house'.

More
  • Pharaoh goes back to Egyptian pr-‘o ‘great house’. Early English spellings included Pharaon and Pharaoe; the final h in later English spellings was influenced by the Hebrew spelling in the Bible.

Derivatives

pharaonic

1
Pronunciation: /ˌfarāˈnik, ˌfe(ə)r-/
adjective
Example sentences
  • In about 3100 B.C., Egypt was united under a ruler known as Mena, or Menes, who inaugurated the 30 pharaonic dynasties into which Egypt's ancient history is divided - the Old and the Middle Kingdoms and the New Empire.
  • Priests were the main practitioners of magic in pharaonic Egypt, where they were seen as guardians of a secret knowledge given by the gods to humanity to ‘ward off the blows of fate’.
  • Ancient Egyptians left behind a rich artistic heritage in the form of pyramids, pharaonic painting and sculpture, hieroglyphics, and architecture.

Words that rhyme with pharaoh

bolero, caballero, dinero, Faeroe, ranchero, sombrero, torero

Definition of pharaoh in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

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 ads and access premium resources

Word of the day tenebrous
Pronunciation: ˈtenəbrəs
adjective
dark; shadowy or obscure