ma·ha·ra·ja or ma·ha·ra·jah (mä′hə-rä’jə, -zhə)
n. 1) A king or prince in India ranking above a raja, especially the sovereign of one of the former native states. 2) Used as a title for such a king or prince.
[Sanskrit mahārājaḥ : mahā-, great; see meg- + rājaḥ, king (variant of rājā, king; see reg-).]
Word History: The Sanskrit word mahārājaḥ, the source of our word maharaja, means "great king." The first element in this word, mahā- means "great," and it is related to Greek mega- and Latin magnus, both meaning the same thing as the Sanskrit. All three forms derive from Indo-European *meg-, "great." This root became *mik- in Germanic, where an adjective, *mikila-, "great," was formed from it. This became micel, pronounced (mĭ’chəl), in Old English. The Old English word survives today in much, shortened from Middle English muchel. In Old Norse, *mikila- became mikill, and in the north of England, the Norse word and a variant of the Old English word micel combined to give us the word mickle, nowadays most often heard in the expression (used by both William Shakespeare and Edmund Spenser) mickle might, "much strength."

Word Histories. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • maharajah — ou maharadja [ ma(a)radʒa ] n. m. • déb. XIXe; marraja 1758; mot hindoustani, du sanskr. mahâ « grand » et râjah « roi » ♦ Prince hindou. ⇒ rajah. Des maharajahs, des maharadjas. Le maharajah et la maharani. mahara(d)jah …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • maharajah — MAHARAJÁH, maharajahi, s.m. (În trecut) Titlu purtat de prinţii indieni (suverani); persoană care deţinea acest titlu. [var.: maharadjáh s.m.] – Din fr. maharadjah. Trimis de claudia, 21.09.2003. Sursa: DEX 98  maharajáh s. m., pl. maharajáhi… …   Dicționar Român

  • maharajah — UK [ˌmɑːhəˈrɑːdʒə] / US [ˌmɑhəˈrɑdʒə] or maharaja UK / US noun [countable] Word forms maharajah : singular maharajah plural maharajahs an Indian prince, especially in the past …   English dictionary

  • maharajah — also maharaja, 1690s, from Hindi, great king, from Skt. maha great (from PIE root *meg great; see MAGNATE (Cf. magnate)) + rajan king (see RAJAH (Cf. rajah)). The fem. equivalent is maharani (1855) …   Etymology dictionary

  • maharajah — /ma(a)ra&d1a, ingl. mɑːhərɑdʒə, fr. maaʀaʒa, hindi mʌFːˈraːdʒʌ/ [dal sanscrito mahâ «grande» e râjâ «re»] s. m. inv. 1. (in India) principe, sovrano 2. (est.) principe …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • maharajah — or maharaja [mä΄hə rä′jə] n. [Sans mahārājā < mahā, great (see MAGNI ) + rājā, king: see REGAL] Historical in India, a prince, specif. one who ruled any of the chief native states …   English World dictionary

  • maharajah — maharaja maharaja, maharajah ma*ha*ra jah, n. [Skr. mah[=a]r[=a]ja; mahat great + r[=a]ja king.] A sovereign prince in India; a Hindu prince or king in India ranking above a raja; a title given also to other persons of high rank. [1913 Webster +… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • maharajah — noun see maharaja …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Maharajah — Râja Pour les articles homonymes, voir Raja. Râja féminin rani est le titre porté par les chefs hindous qui règnent sur un territoire. Lorsqu un râja est le suzerain de plusieurs autres, il prend parfois le titre de mahârâja de mahâ, grand ou l… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • maharajah — /mah heuh rah jeuh, zheuh/, n. (formerly) a ruling prince in India, esp. of one of the major states. Also, maharaja. [1690 1700; < Hindi maharaja great king, equiv. to maha great + raja RAJAH] * * * …   Universalium

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