Definition of maharaja in US English:


(also maharajah)


  • An Indian prince.

    • ‘Unlike the sultans of Malaya, who retained a constitutional position after the British left in 1957, India's maharajahs could retain only their titles and personal assets.’
    • ‘I met maharajahs and sultans and all kinds of Asian nobles.’
    • ‘A few older buildings in sight, such as the palace of the maharajas, respect the ancient unwritten law that no building should be higher than one of Kerala's millions of coconut palms.’
    • ‘Once the maharajas saw their lands merge with the Indian state, the traditional costumes were either packed away in trunks, donated to museums, sold to private collectors or left to decay.’
    • ‘His grandfather was an official in a maharajah's court.’


From Hindi mahārājā, from Sanskrit mahā ‘great’ + rājan ‘raja, king’.