also calif noun Etymology: Middle English caliphe, from Middle French calife, from Arabic khalīfa successor Date: 14th century a successor of Muhammad as temporal and spiritual head of Islam — used as a title • caliphal adjective

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

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  • CALIPH — CALIPH, in Arabic khalīfa, means successor, deputy, or representative. It is generally considered to be an abbreviation of khalīfat rasūl Allāh, successor of the Messenger of God, but recent research suggests that originally the title may have… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • caliph — [kā′lif; ] also [, kal′if] n. [ME & OFr calife < Ar khalīfa, caliph, successor < khalafa, succeed] supreme ruler: the title taken by Mohammed s successors as secular and religious heads of Islam …   English World dictionary

  • Caliph — Ca liph (k[=a] l[i^]f), n. [OE. caliphe, califfe, F. calife (cf. Sp. califa), fr. Ar. khal[=i]fan successor, fr. khalafa to succed (i. e. a successor of Mohammed).] Successor or vicar; the civil and religious leader of a Muslim state; a title of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • caliph — late 14c., from O.Fr. caliphe (12c., also algalife), from M.L. califa, from Arabic khalifa successor, originally Abu Bakr, who succeeded Muhammad in the role of leader of the faithful after the prophet s death …   Etymology dictionary

  • caliph — is pronounced kay lif and is spelt with a c . Other spellings have fallen out of use …   Modern English usage

  • caliph — ► NOUN historical ▪ the chief Muslim civil and religious ruler, regarded as the successor of Muhammad. DERIVATIVES caliphate noun. ORIGIN Arabic, deputy of God …   English terms dictionary

  • Caliph — This article is about the Muslim head of state. For other meanings of Caliph , see Caliph (disambiguation). Caliph of the Faithful خليفة Residence Medina Damascus Baghdad Cairo Istanbul …   Wikipedia

  • Caliph —    According to Sunni Islamic tradition, the rightful successor to the Prophet Muhammad and therefore empowered to lead the entire Muslim community. After the death of Muhammad, the first four Caliphs, Abu Bakr (r. 632 – 634), Umar ibn al Khattab …   Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914

  • caliph — caliphal /kal euh feuhl, kay leuh /, adj. /kay lif, kal if/, n. 1. a spiritual leader of Islam, claiming succession from Muhammad. 2. any of the former Muslim rulers of Baghdad (until 1258) and of the Ottoman Empire (from 1571 until 1924). Also,… …   Universalium

  • caliph — [[t]ke͟ɪlɪf[/t]] caliphs also calif N COUNT; N TITLE A Caliph was a Muslim ruler. ...the caliph of Baghdad …   English dictionary

  • caliph — UK [ˈkeɪlɪf] / US / US [ˈkælɪf] noun [countable] Word forms caliph : singular caliph plural caliphs a Muslim man who was a religious and political leader in the past …   English dictionary

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