Definition of bey in US English:

bey

noun

historical
  • 1The governor of a district or province in the Ottoman Empire.

    • ‘Tunisia was declared a Protectorate and, by the middle of 1882, the entire region had been brought under French military authority with a French Resident installed alongside the traditional ruler, the bey.’
    • ‘For the next 1,300 years, a succession of Arab, Mameluke, and Ottoman caliphs, beys, and sultans ruled the country.’
    • ‘Tunisia was ruled by the Husseini dynasty of beys from 1705 to 1957.’
    • ‘The various beys and pashas who ruled these states paid substantial sums annually to the Sultan.’
    • ‘The bey then called for French support, and three French columns, totalling some 35,000 men, were deployed.’
    1. 1.1 Formerly used in Turkey and Egypt as a courtesy title.
      • ‘The wife of Hâfiz Bey, my friend, lies near to death!’
      • ‘If he was awake and saw me he would spring up, bow low and kiss my hand, enquiring politely after Bulent Bey Efendi and myself.’

Origin

Turkish, modern form of beg ‘prince, governor’.

Pronunciation

bey

/bā//beɪ/