Borrowed from Urdu سردار‎, Hindi सरदार (sardār), from Persian سردار(sardâr). Doublet of serdar and Sardar.



sirdar (plural sirdars)

  1. A high-ranking person in India and other areas of west-central Asia; a chief, a headman.
    • 1905 August 8th, The Times, № 37,780, “Women and Early Marriage”, page 6/1:
      Only last week a paper on the question of early marriage in India was read by a young Sikh Sirdar of Kapurthala, in which this supremely important and delicate subject was treated with a tact and frankness which did him the utmost credit. […¶…¶…¶] During the discussion on Sirdar Arjun Sing’s paper, occasion was taken to protest against the erroneous view, too often taken in Europe, as to the abased position of Mahomedan women generally.
    • 1990, Peter Hopkirk, The Great Game, Folio Society (2010), page 43:
      Pottinger’s guide, who turned out to be married to the daughter of the Sirdar, or headman, insisted on entering the village first, explaining that it was customary with strangers in this dangerous region.
  2. A rank assigned to the commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Army during the British occupation of Egypt.
    • 1926, T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, New York: Anchor (1991), p. 213:
      Sir Reginald, as Sirdar of the Egyptian Army, had been put in command of the British military side of the Arab adventure in place of Sir Henry McMahon
  3. The leader of a group of Sherpa mountain guides.


Further readingEdit



sirdar m (plural sirdares or sirdars)

  1. sirdar (high-ranking person in India and west-central Asia)
  2. sirdar (leader of a group of Sherpa mountain guides)