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From Old Khmer bra or Angkorian Old Khmer braḥ, braḥh, brah (literally distinguished; divine; excellent; holy; sacred; superior; etc), likely from Sanskrit वर (vara, best; excellent; foremost; holy; precious; top; valuable; etc); 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; priest, royal person; also used as an honorific or term of address.
  2. representation, as image, statue, sculpture, etc, of such person.
  3. used as an honorific for or term of address to anyone or anything relating to a god, deity, priest, or royal person, or to a representation of such person.
  4. (historical) the Thai noble rank above หลวง (lǔuang) and below พระยา (prá-yaa); holder of this rank.
  5. male protagonist, as in a literary work, drama, etc.

Usage notesEdit

When used as the honorific according to the third definition, the term may be combined with other terms to form more elegancy. 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