One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A high official in some Muslim countries, especially in Turkey under Ottoman rule.
- ‘During tulip season the grand vizier provided the sultan with nightly entertainment in the Ciragan gardens, lit by thousands of mirrored lanterns as well as candles mounted on the backs of ambling tortoises.’
- ‘He came to Egypt in 1168 as an assistant to his uncle, who was a general and then became the vizier of the last Fatimid caliph.’
- ‘Hence many Ottoman viziers were of non-Turkish ethnic origin, including Greeks, Albanians, and even Italians.’
- ‘Thus empowered, they came to play a vital role in the new polity and culture, serving as viziers and military commanders.’
- ‘The great calligrapher, Muhammad ibn Muqla, a vizier at the court of three Abbasid caliphs, was charged with the task of standardising and refining the myriad cursive scripts.’
Mid 16th century: via Turkish from Arabic wazīr ‘caliph's chief counsellor’.
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