, in modern Arabic “government”. Like many political neologisms in Islamic languages, the word seems to have been first used in its modern sense in 19th century Turkey, and to have passed from Turkish into Arabic and other languages.
Ḥukūma comes from the Arabic root
ḥ.k.m , with the meaning “to judge, adjudicate” (cf. the related meaning, dominant in Hebrew and other Semitic languages, of wisdom. See ḥikma ). In classical usage the verbal noun
ḥukūma means the act or office of adjudication, of dispensing justice, whether by a sovereign, a judge, …