Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search
See also: Khan, khán, khàn, and khăn



Etymology 1[edit]

Via late Middle English from Old French chan, from Medieval Latin chanis, from Turkic kan (prince, lord)/khan, contraction of khaqan (sovereign, ruler).[1] Related to Mongolian ᠬᠠᠭᠠᠨ (qaɣan, lord, prince).


khan (plural khans)

  1. After Genghis Khan, a ruler over various Turkish, Tatar and Mongol peoples in the Middle Ages.
  2. An Ottoman sultan.
  3. A noble or man of rank in various Muslim countries of Central Asia, including Afghanistan.
Derived terms[edit]


  1. ^ The Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., Clarendon Press, 1989.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Persian خان (xân, caravanserai).


khan (plural khans)

  1. A caravanserai; a resting-place for a travelling caravan.
    • 1923, Powys Mathers, translating The Thousand Nights and One Night:
      ‘Guess the name of that,’ she said, pointing to her delicate parts. The porter tried this name and that and ended by asking her to tell him and cease her slapping. ‘The khān of Abu-Mansur,’ she replied.
    • 1958-1994, Hamilton Gibb & CF Beckingham, in The Travels of Ibn Battutah, Folio Society 2012, page 27:
      At each of these stations there is a hostelry which they call a khan, where travellers alight with their beasts, and outside each khan is a public watering-place and a shop at which the traveller may buy what he requires for himself and his beast.

See also[edit]




khan m (plural khans)

  1. khan



khan m (plural khans)

  1. Alternative spelling of