Definition of pharaoh in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈferō/


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.



Pronunciation: /ˌferāˈänik/
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.


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

  • 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.

Words that rhyme with pharaoh

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

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: phar·aoh

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