noun, plural muf·tis.

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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mufti

Contemporary Examples of mufti

Historical Examples of mufti

  • 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.


    Dallas McCord Reynolds

  • People passed in and out, but nobody spoke to the sailor in mufti.

    The Riddle of the Sands

    Erskine Childers

British Dictionary definitions for mufti



noun plural -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 for mufti

C16: from Arabic muftī, from aftā to give a (legal) decision



noun plural -tis

civilian dress, esp as worn by a person who normally wears a military uniform

Word Origin for mufti

C19: perhaps from mufti 1
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 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