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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Pharaoh \Pha"raoh\, n. [Heb. par[=o]h; of Egyptian origin: cf. L. pharao, Gr. ?. Cf. Faro.]

  1. A title by which the sovereigns of ancient Egypt were designated.

  2. See Faro.

    Pharaoh's chicken (Zo["o]l.), the gier-eagle, or Egyptian vulture; -- so called because often sculpured on Egyptian monuments. It is nearly white in color.

    Pharaoh's rat (Zo["o]l.), the common ichneumon.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

title of the kings of ancient Egypt, Old English Pharon, from Latin Pharaonem, from Greek Pharao, from Hebrew Par'oh, from Egyptian Pero', literally "great house."


n. 1 The supreme ruler of ancient Egypt; a formal address for the sovereign seat of power as personified by the 'king' in an institutional role of Horus son of Osiris; often used by metonymy for Ancient Egyptian sovereignty 2 (context uncountable English) The card game faro.


Pharaoh (, or ) is the common title of the monarchs of ancient Egypt from the First Dynasty (c. 3150) until the Macedonian conquest in 305 BCE, although the actual term "Pharaoh" was not used contemporaneously for a ruler until circa 1200 BCE.

Pharaoh (Book of Abraham)

In Latter-day Saint theology, Pharaoh is the proper name of the first king of Egypt, as found in the Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price.

Pharaoh (novel)

Pharaoh is the fourth and last major novel by the Polish writer Bolesław Prus (1847–1912). Composed over a year's time in 1894–95, serialized in 1895–96, and published in book form in 1897, it was the sole historical novel by an author who had earlier disapproved of historical novels on the ground that they inevitably distort history.

Pharaoh has been described by Czesław Miłosz as a "novel on... mechanism[s] of state power and, as such, ... probably unique in world literature of the nineteenth century.... Prus, [in] selecting the reign of ' Pharaoh Ramses XIII' in the eleventh century BCE, sought a perspective that was detached from... pressures of [topicality] and censorship. Through his analysis of the dynamics of an ancient Egyptian society, he... suggest[s] an archetype of the struggle for power that goes on within any state."

Pharaoh is set in the Egypt of 1087–85 BCE as that country experiences internal stresses and external threats that will culminate in the fall of its Twentieth Dynasty and New Kingdom. The young protagonist Ramses learns that those who would challenge the powers that be are vulnerable to co-option, seduction, subornation, defamation, intimidation and assassination. Perhaps the chief lesson, belatedly absorbed by Ramses as pharaoh, is the importance, to power, of knowledge.

Prus' vision of the fall of an ancient civilization derives some of its power from the author's intimate awareness of the final demise of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1795, a century before the completion of the novel.

Preparatory to writing Pharaoh, Prus immersed himself in ancient Egyptian history, geography, customs, religion, art and writings. In the course of telling his story of power, personality, and the fates of nations, he produced a compelling literary depiction of life at every level of ancient Egyptian society. Further, he offers a vision of mankind as rich as Shakespeare's, ranging from the sublime to the quotidian, from the tragic to the comic. The book is written in limpid prose and is imbued with poetry, leavened with humor, graced with moments of transcendent beauty.

Pharaoh has been translated into twenty languages and adapted as a 1966 Polish feature film. It is also known to have been Joseph Stalin's favourite book.

Pharaoh (video game)

Pharaoh is an isometric city-building game that was released on October 31, 1999, created by Impressions Games and published by Sierra Entertainment, for Microsoft Windows. Using the same game engine and principles of Caesar III (also by Sierra Entertainment), it is the first such game in Sierra's city Building series to focus on another civilisation of ancients times, with players overseeing construction and management of cities and settlements in Ancient Egypt, micro-managing every aspect of the city, while also ensuring its citizens are fed, employed, healthy and protected from diseases, disasters and wars.

The game was complemented with an expansion pack called Cleopatra: Queen of the Nile, developed by BreakAway Games the following year, which extended the game's main campaign into the Hellenistic period. Both the original game and expansion pack are commonly referred to, and may be purchased as one, under the title Pharaoh and Cleopatra.

Pharaoh (film)

Pharaoh is a 1966 Polish film directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz and adapted from the eponymous novel by the Polish writer Bolesław Prus. In 1967 it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. It was also entered into the 1966 Cannes Film Festival.

Pharaoh (band)

Pharaoh is an American power metal band.

Pharaoh (Ronald album)

Pharaoh is a mixtape by rapper Ronald. It is his seventh mixtape and his first mixtape under "Privacy Records." The mixtape will be released sometime in 2013 and will feature local collaboratores Young Squlla, Brandon J. and Matt Fab.

Pharaoh (Old English poem)

Pharaoh is the editorial name given to a fragmentary, eight-line Old English poem on folio 122r of the later tenth-century anthology known as the Exeter Book.

Pharaoh (disambiguation)

Pharaoh is the title of ancient Egyptian monarchs. Pharaoh, Pharoah, or pharao, may also refer to:

  • Pharaoh ant, a small, yellow, almost transparent ant known for being a major indoor nuisance pest, especially in hospitals
  • Pharaoh Hound, a Maltese hunting dog breed
  • Pharaoh (Book of Abraham), in Mormonism, a proper name of the first king of Egypt
  • Pharaoh's Adventure Park, a water theme park in Redlands, CA
  • Pharaoh (film), a 1966 Polish film adaptation of Prus' novel
  • Pharaoh (video game), a 1999 video game
  • Pharaoh (card game), a late 17th century French gambling card game
  • Pharaoh (module), an accessory for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game
  • The Pharaohs, a fictional street gang in the 1973 film American Graffiti
  • The Danish ship Færøe, often erroneously 'translated' as Pharaoh
  • The Pharaohs, a nickname of the Egypt national football team

Usage examples of "pharaoh".

All this was significant, but when the stranger delivered him two rolls, one addressed to the chief of the royal scribes of the Pharaoh, the other to the royal murket, and paid him with a jewel, the Amalekite, convinced and satisfied, prostrated himself.

Out of these shady demesnes rose the great white temples of Ptah and Apis, and the palaces of the various Memphian Pharaohs.

To-morrow Pharaoh returns from Thebes to bury the Apis that is dead, and then passes on at once to Sais.

Pharaoh has returned to Memphis and being much pressed for time because of business that awaits him at Sais, has gone on at once to attend the ceremony of the burial of the Apis god at the tomb of the bulls, three leagues away, whence he departs this very night for Sais.

Passing through streets of their holy tombs we came at last to a temple that stood near to the mouth of the great caverns wherein are hid away the bones of the Apis bulls, outside of which temple flew the banner of Pharaoh surrounded by a guard of soldiers.

It was very long, made up of rites which however gorgeous, to me were but mummeries, ending in a kind of sacramental feast whereat all of us from Pharaoh down, must touch with our lips a broth compounded from the flesh of the dead Apis, the smell of which broth--for taste it I did not--revolted me.

As dead pharaohs had been sent to the Other Side with salt, grain, wine, gold, and euthanized servants, so Ralph Cottle would travel across the Styx with spending money.

Thus we heard how Adikran the Libyan, being oppressed of the Cyrenians had prayed Apries my father, the Pharaoh, to help him against these Greeks.

Asiatic princes were introduced into the Council-tent, then when the Danaid king departed, and lastly when the Pharaoh preceded the conquered princes to the banquet.

So this man made certain dolls in the shape and semblance of those who accompanied the Pharaoh when he visited his wives.

His dolls then carried him into the royal harem, past the guards, who believed even as did the wives of Pharaoh, that he was the true Pharaoh.

Puanit who were sought after by the Pharaohs of the Memphite dynasties?

In the palmiest days of the Egyptian navy the Pharaohs never held any dominion over Crete, and even Cyprus was never really under their rule.

A few more wars, a few more years, and Jonathan will sit on the throne, and I will lead his armies, and the ports of Phoenicia and Philistia will hold our round-bellied merchant ships and the pharaoh of Egypt will send us gaming boards of agate and onyx, and papyrus scrolls with the Book of the Dead inscribed in hieroglyphics which look like scarabs or lightning flashes.

Let us refrain from this subject, remembering how grave and learned theologians, earnest opponents of Predestinarianism, have been reduced to the extreme of perplexity when confronted with the ensample of Pharaoh.