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[muhl-uh, moo l-uh, moo-luh] /ˈmʌl ə, ˈmʊl ə, ˈmu lə/
(in Islamic countries) a title of respect for a person who is learned in, teaches, or expounds the sacred law.
(in Turkey) a provincial judge.
Also, mulla, mollah.
Origin of mullah
1605-15; < Persian or Urdu mullā < Arabic mawlā; see maulvi Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for mullah
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • No remarks on Somaliland would be complete without some mention of the mullah.

    Pan-Islam George Wyman Bury
  • There was a beautiful little shrub which Chickango called the mullah.

    In the Wilds of Africa W.H.G. Kingston
  • If that is the case, we should be nearer the mullah by nightfall.

    In the grip of the Mullah F. S. Brereton
  • You can see the mud huts which the mullah's followers occupy, and there are his herds.

    In the grip of the Mullah F. S. Brereton
  • "He's gone in," said Jim, watching the figure of the mullah with the utmost eagerness.

    In the grip of the Mullah F. S. Brereton
British Dictionary definitions for mullah


/ˈmʌlə; ˈmʊlə/
(formerly) a Muslim scholar, teacher, or religious leader: also used as a title of respect
Word Origin
C17: from Turkish molla, Persian and Hindi mulla, from Arabic mawlā master
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 mullah

title given in Muslim lands to one learned in theology and sacred law, 1610s, from Turkish molla, Persian and Urdu mulla, from Arabic mawla "master," from waliya "reigned, governed."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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