Definition of sultana in US English:



  • 1British A small, light brown, seedless raisin used in foods such as puddings and cakes.

    as modifier ‘a sultana cake’
    • ‘We were just as impressed with the accompanying vegetables, especially the lively red cabbage cooked with sultanas or raisins and tarragon again.’
    • ‘A few varieties are grown to produce raisins, sultanas, and currants.’
    • ‘The safest option would be to feed the robin on finely-grated mild cheese and pre-soaked raisins or sultanas, and to ensure that fresh water is always available in a safe place well away from cats and other predators.’
    • ‘Add the onion, yellow bell pepper, celery root, jalapeño pepper, Granny Smiths, and sultanas and sauté until tender, about five minutes.’
    • ‘Soak the saffron and raisins or sultanas in 2 tbsp boiling water and set aside.’
    • ‘Among the cakes, the zaleti - cornflour biscuits peppered with sultanas - are especially good.’
    • ‘Combine the orange juice, orange flower water, Cointreau, honey, sultanas and cinnamon sticks in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to melt the honey.’
    • ‘Bobotie, proudly considered a traditional South African dish, made of spiced mince mixed with rice, almonds and sultanas, originates with the Malay.’
    • ‘I opted for pork escalope rolls filled with apples, sweet peppers, sultanas and wild rice in a Calvados cream sauce, at £12.00.’
    • ‘I also discovered that if you don't have any raisins or sultanas to hand, a chopped-up plum will work just fine as stuffing for a baked apple.’
    • ‘My lifetime aversion to raisins, sultanas and currants meant mince pies were out and the Christmas pudding, burning with blue flames after being doused in brandy, was nothing more than an interesting spectacle.’
    • ‘Add the sultanas, candied peel or mostarda, caster sugar and hot water or stock; simmer for 5 min.’
    • ‘If you have time, soak raisins or sultanas in the muscat or sherry first, then pour them on the ice cream along with the liquid.’
    • ‘If you are so inclined, you can also add raisins or sultanas to the biscuit crumbs, but I personally don't like that.’
    • ‘Just serve them with some nice fluffy couscous, which you can dress up as much as you like with apple, sultanas, almonds, parsley, mint, even crab meat or lobster, whatever you fancy.’
    • ‘Today's pies are made from the sweeter ingredients and usually contain shredded suet, raisins, sultanas, apple, and candied orange and lemon peel.’
    • ‘Combine the butter, sultanas, currants, sugar, mixed spice, cinnamon, ginger, bicarbonate of soda and water in a saucepan.’
    • ‘See also currants, lexias, muscatels, sultanas, and raisins for specific sorts of dried grape.’
    • ‘She baked it the night before, using spelt instead of traditional wheat flour, and big, juicy, organic sultanas.’
    • ‘A side table is laden with the finest sweetmeats the Glasgow South Co - operative Society can offer - Madeira cake, sultana cake, cherry cake, and butter shortbread.’
  • 2A wife or concubine of a sultan.

    • ‘To complete his investigation, Schregle has also examined coinage, and the sultana's tombstone for cultural information on her life.’
    • ‘In these accounts, the perceptions of the sultana have ranged from a collaborator to a Mamluk puppet (Strayer).’
    • ‘This account has depicted the sultana's tenacity and political savvy in holding the Ayyubid kingdom together.’
    • ‘Rumour has it that Boabdil's sultana kept assignations here with her lover Hamet, and screened by tamarisks, overpowered by the scent of orange blossom, who could possibly blame them?’
    • ‘The former sultana, for her part, still held de facto power behind the scenes at this point.’
    • ‘The complexity and depth of these scholars' individual accounts of the sultana have varied according to her relevance to their respective works.’
    • ‘Two authors, Susan Staffa and Fatima Mernissi, have focused on the sultana, emphasized her life and minimized the events of the Crusade and the male supporting cast around her.’
    • ‘Ulrich Haarman, in Geschichte der arabischen Welt, has observed the marriage between Aybek and the sultana, adding the Caliph's objections and the plot against Aybek.’
    • ‘For example, in order to control her second husband, the sultana had to kill him.’
    • ‘The sultana's power came from the Bahri Mamluks, whom Aybek took great pains to disband between 1251 and l254.’
    • ‘From this point onward, the future sultana steadily gained influence in the sultan's eyes.’
    • ‘Having skirted the issue of Shajara's political influence in this manner, Humphreys did not have to mention the caliph's order for the sultana's abdication.’
    • ‘When al-Musta'sim, the Abbasid caliph, opposed her reign, the sultana abdicated and married Aybek.’
    • ‘Three days later, the former sultana met her fate.’
    • ‘Subsequently, Ali, the new sultan, handed the former sultana to his mother.’
    • ‘In addition to listing the usual events portrayed in most histories, this author has presented a rather unique picture of the sultana which kept with his personal agenda for writing this work.’
    • ‘Over the last seven years of her political career, the former sultana maintained effective de facto control until the end.’
    lover, girlfriend, paramour, kept woman, live-in lover
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Any other woman in a sultan's family.


Late 16th century (in sultana (sense 2)): from Italian, feminine of sultano (see sultan). sultana (sense 1) dates from the mid 19th century.