Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English Achab, from Latin Achab, from Ancient Greek Ἀχαάβ (Akhaáb), from Hebrew אַחְאָב(ʼAḥʼāḇ, uncle); from אַח(ʼaḥ, brother) + אָב(ʼāḇ, father). Attested in Akkadian as 𒀀𒄩𒀊𒁍 (Aḫabbu).


Proper noun[edit]


  1. A king of Israel, mentioned in the Bible.
  2. A male given name from Hebrew, very rarely used.


  • 1851 Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, Chapter 16:
    Oh! he ain’t Captain Bildad; no, and he ain’t Captain Peleg; he’s Ahab, boy; and Ahab of old, thou knowest, was a crowned king!"
    "And a very vile one. When that wicked king was slain, the dogs, did they not lick his blood?"
    "Come hither to me—hither, hither," said Peleg, with a significance in his eye that almost startled me. "Look ye, lad; never say that on board the Pequod. Never say it anywhere. Captain Ahab did not name himself .'Twas a foolish, ignorant whim of his crazy, widowed mother, who died when he was only a twelvemonth old. And yet the old squaw Tistig, at Gayhead, said that the name would somehow prove prophetic.