[muhl-uh, moo l-uh, moo-luh]


(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 mul·la, mollah.

Origin of mullah

1605–15; < Persian or Urdu mullā < Arabic mawlā; see maulvi Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mullah

Contemporary Examples of mullah

Historical Examples of mullah

  • No remarks on Somaliland would be complete without some mention of the Mullah.


    George Wyman Bury

  • There was a beautiful little shrub which Chickango called the mullah.

    In the Wilds of Africa

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • "He's gone in," said Jim, watching the figure of the Mullah with the utmost eagerness.

  • If that is the case, we should be nearer the Mullah by nightfall.

  • You can see the mud huts which the Mullah's followers occupy, and there are his herds.

British Dictionary definitions for mullah


mulla mollah (ˈmɒlə)


(formerly) a Muslim scholar, teacher, or religious leader: also used as a title of respect

Word Origin for mullah

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

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