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From Old Khmer bra or Angkorian Old Khmer braḥ, braḥh, brah (literally distinguished; divine; excellent; holy; sacred; superior; etc), of disputed origin; see Khmer ព្រះ (prĕəh) for more.

Compare Old Khmer vraḥ, vraḥh, vrah, vrahh, vrāʼaḥ, brā; Angkorian Old Khmer vraḥ, vraḥha, vraḥh, vrah, vras, vrāḥ.

Cognate with Modern Khmer ព្រះ (prĕəh); Lao ພະ (pha), ພຣະ (pha ra). Compare also Burmese ဘုရား (bhu.ra:), Old Javanese phra, Javanese bra.


b r a
b ̥ r a
Royal Institutephra
(standard) IPA(key)/pʰraʔ˦˥/


พระ (prá)

  1. god; deity.
  2. priest.
  3. royal person.
  4. representation, as image, statue, sculpture, etc, of a god, priest, or royal person.
  5. (historical)
    1. the Thai noble rank above หลวง (lǔuang) and below พระยา (prá-yaa).
    2. person holding such rank.
  6. male protagonist, as in a literary work, drama, etc.
  7. an honorific for or term of address to gods, high priests, and royals, as well as things and beings relating to them, also used as the head of nouns concerning them.

Usage notesEdit

When used as the head of nouns according to the last definition, the term may be combined with other terms to form more elegant heads. Examples are:

Terms Literal meaning Application Notes
Gods High priests Royals
พระบรมมหาราช (prá-bɔɔ-rom-má-hǎa-râat-chá-) sacred, supreme, great, royal   For monarchs
พระบรม (prá-bɔɔ-rom-má-) sacred, supreme   For monarchs
พระบรมราช (prá-bɔɔ-rom-má-râat-chá-) sacred, supreme, royal   For monarchs
พระบวร (prá-bɔɔ-wɔɔ-rá-) sacred, exalted   For princes of the Front Palace
พระบวรราช (prá-bɔɔ-wɔɔ-rá-râat-chá) sacred, exalted, royal   For princes of the Front Palace
พระปรม (prá-bpɔɔ-rá-má-) sacred, supreme   For monarchs
พระพุทธ (prá-pút-tá-) sacred, Buddhist     For Buddhas and Buddhist high priests
พระมหา (prá-má-hǎa-) sacred, great      
พระมหาราช (prá-má-hǎa-râat-chá-) sacred, great, royal  
พระมหาสมณ (prá-má-hǎa-sà-má-ná-) sacred, great, ecclesiastical  
พระราช (prá-râat-chá-) sacred, royal   For high-ranking royals
พระวร (prá-wɔɔ-rá-) sacred, excellent   For high-ranking royals
พระสมณ (prá-sà-má-ná-) sacred, ecclesiastical  
พระสุร (prá-sù-rá-) sacred, celestial   For high-ranking royals

See alsoEdit


พระ (prá)

  1. (poetic) a second or third person pronoun, applied to gods, priests, royals, and nobles.