Definition of firman in English:


(also farman)

Pronunciation: /fəːˈmɑːn//ˈfəːmən/


  • 1An oriental sovereign's edict.

    • ‘The firman of the Sultan contained also a guarantee for the status quo in the sanctuaries.’
    • ‘Bukhari, has through ancestral claim over the Jama Masjid conferred by a royal firman from the mosque's builder, emperor Shah Jehan, he has lost grip over the people in the area.’
    • ‘The Tarikh-Ilahi became the official calendar, and the decrees of the ruling Moghal emperor of India (the farmans) henceforth carried both the synthetic Tarikh and the Muslim Hijri date, and occasionally only the Tarikh.’
    • ‘Those days, through a shahi firman (royal edict) certain persons were appointed to perform some specific tasks.’
    • ‘Later the British, using the ‘farman’ as an excuse forced the Mughal emperor Shah Alam II to recognize Bengal as part of British territory.’
    • ‘He agrees that Elgin exceeded the terms of his firman, but points out that there were two additional firmans from the Sultan sanctioning the export of the marbles.’
    • ‘The first firman made its way slowly from Constantinople to Athens, but events had overtaken it by the time it arrived.’
    decree, order, command, commandment, mandate, proclamation, pronouncement, dictum, dictate, fiat, promulgation, precept
    View synonyms
  • 2A grant or permit.

    • ‘Having obtained the historic firman from Emperor Shah Alam, Clive returned to Calcutta to do what he promised his wife.’
    • ‘Hunt's acquisitive instincts far surpassed anything the Sublime Porte had in mind when it granted the firman.’
    • ‘Jahangir might initially grant a farman or permission, only to contradict it with an oral statement later.’


Early 17th century: from Persian firmān, Sanskrit pramāṇa right measure, standard, authority.