Qaid (Berber: ⵕⵇⴰⵢⴹ Arabic: قائد qāʾid, "commander"; pl. qaada), also spelled kaid or caïd, is a word meaning "commander" or "leader." It was a title in the Norman kingdom of Sicily, applied to palatine officials and members of the curia, usually to those who were Muslims or converts to Islam. The word entered the Latin language as Latin: gaitus or Latin: gaytus. Later the word was used in North Africa for the governor of a fortress or the warden of a prison, also in Spain and Portugal in the form with the definite article "alcayde" (Spanish) "alcaide" (Portuguese).[1] It is also used as a male Arabic given name.

A clan of mountaineers and their qaid (In Morocco (1920) by Edith Wharton)

Notable qaids

People with the given name

Alcaide as surname


Other uses

  • Alkaid or Elkeid, traditional name of Arabic origin for star Eta Ursae Majoris
  • USS Alkaid (AK-114), U.S. Navy ship, named after the star
  • Qaid (film), 1975 Hindi film starring Leena Chandavarkar and Kamini Kaushal
  • Umar Qaid, 1975 Hindi Bollywood action film
  • The Kingdom of Caid, Society for Creative Anachronism, encompasses Southern California, the Las Vegas metropolitan area, and Hawaii.
  • Khuddamul Ahmadiyya chapter leaders are called Qaid. The Qaid in this terminology is a Muslim youth leader who guides his local khuddam in services to faith and nation.
  • In the game Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege, an operator has the name 'Kaid', with the ability to electrify defenses with his unique gadget.
  • In the 1965 science fiction novel Dune, a 'Caid' is a Sardaukar officer assigned to deal with civilians.


  1. "Alcayde". The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford UP. 1974.
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