ca·liph also ca·lif or kha·lif (kālĭf, kălĭf)
A leader of an Islamic polity, regarded as a successor of Muhammad and by tradition always male.
[Middle English calife, from Old French, from Arabic ḫalīfa, successor (to Muhammad), caliph, from ḫalafa, to succeed; see ḫlp in the Appendix of Semitic roots.]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendicies
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