- the officiating priest of a mosque.
- the title for a Muslim religious leader or chief.
- one of a succession of seven or twelve religious leaders, believed to be divinely inspired, of the Shiʿites.
Also i·maum [ih-mahm, ih-mawm] /ɪˈmɑm, ɪˈmɔm/.
Origin of imam
First recorded in 1605–15, imam is from the Arabic word imām leader, guide
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for imam
Imam Bheel, as locals call him, was added to a list of worldwide traffickers subject to U.S. sanctions in 2009.The Dangerous Drug-Funded Secret War Between Iran and Pakistan
December 29, 2014
Imam Enchassi also noted that when Noor left the mosque, he had joined a local conservative group that spewed anti-Muslim views.Megyn Kelly’s Really Scary Muslim
October 5, 2014
In Germany, a prominent Muslim imam gave a sermon asking Allah to kill all of the “Zionist Jews.”Europe’s Jews Punished for Israel’s War
July 25, 2014
Second, Imam Ali raised an issue that few have publicly discussed.How We Stop the Next Boko Haram
May 22, 2014
After praying for forgiveness, Fotros was redeemed by the Imam Ali who gave him back his wings.Iran’s Drone War in Syria
May 14, 2014
The Imam is good, the Imam is holy; who so good and holy as the Imam?
But Habeebah had remained a Muslim, and she was for calling the Imam.
During the last few years the Imam has kept the Czar well at bay.Life of Schamyl
John Milton Mackie
In one tradition He is called 'Imam al ashin,' 'Leader of the wanderers.'
But we have an Imam (leader) who is an infallible judge and needs no proofs.
imaum (ɪˈmɑːm, ɪˈmɔːm)
- a leader of congregational prayer in a mosque
- a caliph, as leader of a Muslim community
- an honorific title applied to eminent doctors of Islam, such as the founders of the orthodox schools
- any of a succession of either seven or twelve religious leaders of the Shiites, regarded by their followers as divinely inspired
C17: from Arabic: leader, from amma he guided
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 imam
1610s, from Arabic, literally "leader; one who precedes," from amma "to go before, precede."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper