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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Bey \Bey\ (b[=a]), n. [See Beg a bey.] A governor of a province or district in the Turkish dominions; also, in some places, a prince or nobleman; a beg; as, the bey of Tunis.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"governor of a Turkish district," 1590s, from Turkish bey, a title of honor, the Osmanli equivalent of Turkish beg.


n. A governor of a province or district in the Turkish dominions; also, in some places, a prince or nobleman; a beg.

  1. n. (formerly) a title of respect for a man in Turkey or Egypt; "he introduced me to Ahmet Bey"

  2. the governor of a district or province in the Ottoman Empire


Bey (/Bey, / Bek, / Beg or Beyg) is a Turkish title for chieftain, traditionally applied to the leaders (for men) of small tribal groups. The feminine equivalent title was Begum. The regions or provinces where "beys" ruled or which they administered were called beylik, roughly meaning "emirate" or "principality" in the first case, "province" or "governorate" in the second (the equivalent of duchy in other parts of Europe). Today, the word is still used informally as a social title for men (somewhat like the English word " mister" and the French word monsieur, which literally means "my lord"). Unlike "mister" however, it follows the name and is used generally with first names and not with last names.

Bey (disambiguation)

Bey is the Turkish term for a tribal chieftain, Ottoman or later Islamic official, in latter days reduced to a hollow form of address; a leader of beylik.

Bey or BEY may also refer to:

Bey (surname)

Bey is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

  • Andy Bey (born 1939), American jazz singer and pianist
  • Chief Bey (1913-2004), American jazz musician
  • David Bey (born 1957), American boxer
  • Dawoud Bey (born 1953), American photographer
  • Erich Bey (1898–1943), German admiral during the Second World War
  • Essad Bey (pen name of Lev Nussimbaum, 1905-1942), Ukrainian/Russian Jewish writer
  • Hakim Bey (pseudonym of Peter Lamborn Wilson, born 1945), American anarchist and writer
  • Richard Bey (born 1951), American talk show host in the 1990s
  • Salome Bey (born 1944), American-born Canadian singer-songwriter, composer and actress
  • Turhan Bey (1922–2012), Austrian born, American actor
  • Yasiin Bey (pseudonym of Mos Def, born 1973), American rap singer
  • Yusef Bey (1935–2003), American Black Muslim activist
  • Yusuf Bey IV (born 1986), son of Yusef Bey, convicted of murdering a journalist
  • Darrius Heyward-Bey (born 1987), American football player

Usage examples of "bey".

In the middle walked the muezzin, on his right Selim Aga, and on the left, sunk hi thought, Nuri Bey.

Standing in the middle of it was Ismail Bey, the ruler of these parts, who welcomed me very civilly and led me to an uncommon fine horse, a bright bay stallion of rather better than sixteen hands, to carry me the three hundred yards into the castle.

In those days, the cotillon had just become a fashionable craze, and no hostess of the great world thought her entertainment complete unless Ruel Bey organised and led the figures.

Later on, when the dancing began, a bevy of would-be partners crowded round the girl, and after that, he had only seen her as she whirled round in a waltz or played her part in the cotillon led by Ruel Bey.

Less embellished than his chamberlain, who was obliged to be recognizably splendid in the crimson and green brocaded djebba of state, the Bey dressed simply in white linen for the summer heat.

He left his partners at the geometer gate, bursting through to the other side with brilliant streamers of an erotic pyramid trailing behind, then swinging in a sharp arc into the geometer barrel of Rauhl Bey Singh.

The Ottoman League, founded by Mahmud Muktar Pasha, Munir Pasha, and Ahmed Rechid Bey, has adhered to the new organisation.

At sunset the Amenhotep drew in to the bank by Hasha, and, from the deck, Fielding Bey saluted the mamour, the omdah and his own subordinates, who, buttoning up their coats as they came, hurried to the bank to make salaams to him.

He promised to support him against the Grand Seignior, at the very moment when he was assuring the Egyptians that he would support the Grand Seignior against the beys.

Shall I go to the Khedive and say that this night Mustapha Bey, eldest and chosen son of Selamlik Pasha, the darling of his fat heart, was seized by the Chief Eunuch, the gentle Mizraim, in the harem of his Highness?

He had seen old Selamlik Pasha, who had lent the Khedive much money, entering the palace as he left with Kingsley Bey thirty-six hours before.

Father the moon-hanger the eye-in-the-sky the old meister the bey window the bit chammer the gaekwarder the incaling the khando kid the neatzam the shotgun of kyotowing the principal stadtholder the voivode the top wali, this Being, I say, being a Being of the highest anthropocentrictrac interest, as well as the one who keeps the corn popping from the fine green fields and the like and the like, is maybe being abruised and lese-majestied by us poor galoots over many meters of hard cheese days in and out but even a galoot has a brain to wonder with and what we wonder is to what end?

However, the General-inChief having opposed him to Mourad Bey, Murat performed such prodigies of valour in every perilous encounter that he effaced the transitory stain which a momentary hesitation under the walls of Mantua had left on his character.

She had been standing at her window, thinking with horror of the impending visit of a heavyweight wrestler called Selim Hammid Bey, who claimed to be in love with her, when she suddenly saw Lem Pitkin turn the corner and pass in front of the laundry.

Your Worshiped Grace, your Captivating Magnificence, Herr Unteroffizier Beier, I beg to report .