A sheikhdom (alt. sheikdom) (Arabic: مشيخة [Mashyakhah]) is a geographical area or a society that is ruled by a sheikh (Arabic: شيخ). Sheikhdoms exist almost exclusively within Arab countries, particularly in the Arabian Peninsula.
The word is generally used as a descriptive term for political systems rather than as a noun (such as the case is with "Kingdom"), and although some countries are ruled by a sheikh, they are not typically referred to as sheikdoms.
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