AskDefine | Define ameer

Dictionary Definition

ameer n : an independent ruler or chieftain (especially in Africa or Arabia) [syn: emir, amir, emeer]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. An emir

Extensive Definition

Emir (Arabic: ; , , (Persian/Urdu: امیر ) "commander" or "general", also "prince" ; also transliterated as amir, aamir or ameer) is a high title of nobility or office, used in Arabic nations of the Middle East and North Africa, and historically, in some Turkic states. While emir is the predominant spelling in English and many other languages, amir, closer to the original Arabic, is more common for its numerous compounds (e.g., admiral) and in individual names. Spelling thus differs depending on the sources consulted.


Amir, meaning "chieftain" or "commander", is derived from the Arabic root , "command". Originally simply meaning commander or leader, usually in reference to a group of people, it came to be used as a title of governors or rulers, usually in smaller states, and in modern Arabic usually renders the English word "prince." The word entered English in 1595, from the French émir. It was one of the titles or names of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

Princely, ministerial and noble titles

From the start, Emir has been a military title, roughly meaning "general" or "commander."
The Western naval rank "admiral" comes from the Arabic naval title amir al-bahr, general at sea, which has been used for naval commanders and occasionally the Ministers of Marine.
In certain decimally-organized Muslim armies, Amir was an officer rank; e.g. in Mughal India Amirs commanded 1000 horsemen (divided into ten units, each under a Sipah salar), ten of them under one Malik. In the imperial army of Qajar Persia:
  • Amir-i-Nuyan, Lieutenant general
  • Amir Panj, "Commander of 5,000" (Brigadier general)
  • Amir-i-Tuman, "Commander of 10,000' (Major general)
  • Amir ul-Umara, "Amir of Amirs" (cfr. supra) or 'Commander of Commanders'
  • Amir Yavarianfar, "Supreme Amir"
In the former Kingdom of Afghanistan, Amir-i-Kabir was a title meaning "great prince" or "great commander."

Other uses

  • Amir-i-Il designates the head of an Il (tribe) in imperial Persia.
  • Amir is a Jewish name. Emir is also a common Muslim male name for Arab and non-Arab Muslims (Bosnia, Iran), taken from Arabic just as the Western name Rex ("king") is borrowed from Latin. In Bosnia and Herzegovina female-name Emira – often interpreted as "princess" – is a derivative of male-name Emir.

Islamic titles

Emirs in fiction

Sources and references

  • WorldStatesmen Here Religious Organisations - see also many present Muslim countries
ameer in Arabic: أمير
ameer in Belarusian: Эмір
ameer in Catalan: Emir
ameer in Czech: Emír
ameer in Danish: Emir
ameer in German: Emir
ameer in Spanish: Emir
ameer in Esperanto: Emiro
ameer in Persian: امیر
ameer in French: Émir
ameer in Galician: Emir
ameer in Korean: 아미르
ameer in Indonesian: Emir
ameer in Italian: Emiro
ameer in Hebrew: אמיר
ameer in Georgian: ამირა
ameer in Latin: Amiralis
ameer in Latvian: Emīrs
ameer in Lithuanian: Emyras
ameer in Hungarian: Emír
ameer in Dutch: Emir
ameer in Japanese: アミール
ameer in Norwegian: Emir
ameer in Norwegian Nynorsk: Emir
ameer in Polish: Emir
ameer in Portuguese: Emir
ameer in Romanian: Emir
ameer in Russian: Эмир
ameer in Swedish: Emir
ameer in Ukrainian: Емір
ameer in Chinese: 埃米爾
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1