• synonyms


or Shi·ʿa

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noun Islam.
  1. (used with a plural verb) the Shiʿites.
  2. (used with a singular verb) Shiʿite.
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Origin of Shiʿah

First recorded in 1620–30, Shiʿah is from the Arabic word shīʿah literally, sect
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for shiah

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for shiah



  1. one of the two main branches of Islam (the other being the Sunni), making up a tenth or more of the entire Muslim population, and forming the majority in Iran and Iraq, which regards Mohammed's cousin Ali and his successors as the true imams
  2. another name for Shiite
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  1. designating or characteristic of this sect or its beliefs and practices
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Word Origin

C17: from Arabic shī`ah sect, from shā`a to follow
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