sheikh or sheik (shāk, shēk)
a. Islam A man respected for his piety or religious learning.
b. A male leader of an Arab family or village.
c. A man in an Arab society who is important or wealthy.
d. Used as a form of address for such a man.
2. sheik Slang A sexually alluring man.
[Arabic šayḫ, old man, chief, from šāḫa, to grow old; see śyḫ in the Appendix of Semitic roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
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