Definition of begum in US English:



  • 1A Muslim lady of high rank.

    • ‘The old Begum had decided upon the final extreme step to defend her honour against the continuing denial of her rights and privileges, so she made up her mind to leave this world in as regal, gracious and dramatic a way as possible.’
    • ‘At Sardhana, gifted to them by Shah Alam II, they established a multicultural court where the Begum ruled for 50 years after her husband's death.’
    • ‘You will, of course, need a driver to drop and pick the children from school and, more importantly, to take the begum out for shopping and to her coffee parties.’
    • ‘The begum who owned Liberty Theatre allowed them in to see movies for free as they were neighbours and he has a strong memory of how she would drive a convertible with great style.’
    • ‘There was a pause and the begum looked up, I think to see if I was secretly laughing at her memories: ‘It's up to you whether you want to believe all this,’ she said simply.’
    1. 1.1 The title of a married Muslim woman, equivalent to Mrs.
      • ‘The deceased has been identified as Ashora Begum, 60, wife of Ali Mohammed of Surankote.’
      • ‘An Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman said Musharraf and his wife Begum will visit India July 14-16 and the summit would take place in Agra, an ancient city in northern India and home to the Taj Mahal.’
      • ‘After his death in 1951, his wife, the Begum of Bhopal was allowed to retain the bungalow considering the family status.’
      • ‘After moving to Bradford in the mid-1990s, he married a Muslim woman, Shaffia Begum, in June 1995.’
      • ‘And that's just when I refuse to take the Begum to buy new shoes.’


From Urdu begam, from eastern Turkish bigim ‘princess’, feminine of big ‘prince’.