[bis-mil-uh] Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bismillah

Historical Examples of bismillah

  • They instantly set about their ablutions, and began to repeat the Bismillah.


    William Beckford

  • These had their throats cut, with the usual formula, "Bismillah!"

    The Arab's Pledge

    Edward L. Mitford

  • The meal then began with the Bismillah--'In the name of the most merciful God'--for grace.

    Oriental Women

    Edward Bagby Pollard

  • In the third place, when specially instructed to say “Bismillah!”

    Three Ghost Stories

    Charles Dickens

  • They use it at the ceremonies of circumcision, bismillah (teaching the child “the name of God”), virginity and marriage.

British Dictionary definitions for bismillah


  1. the words which preface all except one of the surahs of the Koran, used by Muslims as a blessing before eating or some other action

Word Origin for Bismillah

shortened from Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim, from Arabic, literally: in the name of God, the merciful and compassionate
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

Word Origin and History for bismillah

first attested in English in Byron, from Arabic bi'smillah(i) "in the name of God" (Allah).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper