1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Nawab

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NAWAB, a Mahommedan title for a native ruler in India, answering to the Hindu raja. Nawab originally means a deputy, being the honorific plural of the Arabic naib, and it was applied to a delegate of a supreme chief, the Viceroy or governor under the Great Mogul, e.g. the nawab of Oudh. From this use it became a title of rank, without office, and is now sometimes conferred by the British government on Mahommedan gentlemen for distinguished service.