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From Hindi नवाब (navāb)/Urdu نواب(navāb), from Persian نوّاب(navvâb), ultimately from Arabic نُوَّاب(nuwwāb), plural of نَائِب(nāʔib, naib).


  • IPA(key): /nəˈwɑːb/, /nəˈwɔːb/
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  • Rhymes: -ɑːb, -ɔːb
  • Hyphenation: na‧wab


nawab (plural nawabs)

  1. (historical) A Muslim official in South Asia acting as a provincial deputy ruler under the Mughal empire; a local governor. [from 17th c.]
    • 1848 November – 1850 December, William Makepeace Thackeray, chapter 38, in The History of Pendennis. [], volumes (please specify |volume=I or II), London: Bradbury and Evans, [], published 1849–1850, →OCLC:
      Colonel Altamont, the Nawaub of Lucknow’s prime favourite, an extraordinary man, who had, it was said, embraced Mahometanism, and undergone a thousand wild and perilous adventures was at present in this country, trying to negotiate with the Begum Clavering, the sale of the Nawaub’s celebrated nose-ring diamond, ‘the light of the Dewan.’
    • 2015, Eugene Rogan, The Fall of the Ottomans, Penguin, published 2016, page 71:
      The nawabs of Bhopal, Ranput, Murshidabad, and Dhaka, along with the nizam of Hyderabad, all affirmed that the sultan has misled Muslims with his “erroneous” call to jihad and insisted that Indian Muslims had a duty to support Great Britain.
  2. Any of various nymphalid butterflies of the genus Polyura (possibly a subgenus of genus Charaxes).

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