Definition of pasha in US English:



  • 1historical The title of a Turkish officer of high rank.

    • ‘Another example would be the glitter of metal: the image adds a connotation of cruelty to the glory of a pasha, previously described with true oriental bombast, as the light of lights.’
    • ‘He was appointed Minister of Public Works in 1869, retired shortly after, received the grand title of pasha in 1873 and died in Cairo in 1883.’
    • ‘That he even has a library sets him apart from most high-tech pashas.’
    • ‘Promoted to the rank of pasha in April 1916, he was virtually exiled by his Young Turk rivals to the eastern front.’
    • ‘The pasha of Tripoli soon agreed, in exchange for a sixty-thousand-dollar payment, to release the American prisoners and to commit no further acts of piracy against American vessels.’
  • 2A large orange-brown butterfly with two tails on each hind wing and complex patterns on the underwings, occurring around the Mediterranean and in Africa.

    Charaxes jasius, subfamily Nymphalinae, family Nymphalidae

    • ‘The Two-Tailed Pasha is the largest European butterfly, with the fore-wing span of the female often measuring more than 4 inches.’
    • ‘The Two-tailed Pasha is one of Europe’s most spectacular butterflies.’


Mid 17th century: from Turkish paşa, from Pahlavi pati ‘lord’ + šāh ‘shah’.