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[muhf-tee] /ˈmʌf ti/
noun, plural muftis.
civilian clothes, in contrast with military or other uniforms, or as worn by a person who usually wears a uniform.
a Muslim jurist expert in the religious law.
(in the Ottoman Empire) a deputy of the chief Muslim legal adviser to the Sultan.
(initial capital letter) Grand Mufti.
Origin of mufti
First recorded in 1580-90, mufti is from the Arabic word muftī literally, a person who delivers a judgment, originally a Muslim legal adviser; sense of def. 1 arises from the legal adviser being a civil official Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for mufti
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was easy to see that he was much more at home in mufti than in uniform.

    A Nest of Spies Pierre Souvestre
  • I imagine your excellency has obtained a dispensation from the mufti?

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
  • But in vain the mufti, and the Patriarch, and the Pope flout at your past traditions.

    The Young Duke Benjamin Disraeli
  • He'd expected his tone of authority to be enough, even though he was in mufti.

    Mercenary Dallas McCord Reynolds
  • People passed in and out, but nobody spoke to the sailor in mufti.

    The Riddle of the Sands Erskine Childers
  • This time, however, appeared a mufti who was unfriendly to coffee.

    All About Coffee William H. Ukers
  • He was in mufti, whoever he was, and received us kindly enough.

  • You mean the difference between a man in uniform and in mufti?

    The Kingdom Round the Corner Coningsby Dawson
British Dictionary definitions for mufti


noun (pl) -tis
a Muslim legal expert and adviser on the law of the Koran
(in the former Ottoman empire) the leader of the religious community
Word Origin
C16: from Arabic muftī, from aftā to give a (legal) decision


noun (pl) -tis
civilian dress, esp as worn by a person who normally wears a military uniform
Word Origin
C19: perhaps from mufti1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for mufti

1580s, muphtie "official head of the state religion in Turkey," from Arabic mufti "judge," active participle of afta "to give," conjugated form of fata "he gave a (legal) decision" (cf. fatwa). Sense of "ordinary clothes (not in uniform)" is from 1816, of unknown origin, perhaps from mufti's costume of robes and slippers in stage plays, which was felt to resemble plain clothes.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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