Definition of shah in US English:



  • A title of the former monarch of Iran.

    • ‘The large punch bowl in the Rose Medallion pattern shown in Plate IX was made about 1865 for Nasir al-Din Shah, a shah of Persia's Qajar dynasty.’
    • ‘Unrest was a fact of student life under the dictatorship of the shah, though Parsa stresses he was not an activist.’
    • ‘Daydreams of living like a prince are one thing, but living in a house that has played host to kings, queens, shahs and high-ranking dignitaries is quite another.’
    • ‘Since the shah and his queen kept separate bedrooms, this is a revealing detail.’
    • ‘In 1833 he was one of a party of British officers sent to help reorganize the shah of Persia's army.’


Mid 16th century: from Persian šāh, from Old Persian ḵšāyaṯiya ‘king’.