or u·le·ma


plural noun Islam.

the doctors of Muslim religion and law.

Origin of ʿulama

First recorded in 1680–90, ʿulama is from the Arabic word ʿulamā learned men
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ulema

Contemporary Examples of ulema

  • To pacify the ulema, always wary of any rival forum, this initial gathering consisted entirely of men who were clerics.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Saudi Kingdom's 9/11

    Robert Lacey

    October 17, 2009

  • Rather, the leadership of the ulema in Egypt and in other important Muslim centers should do it for the Afghan people.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Can Egypt Help Obama?

    Bruce Riedel

    August 16, 2009

Historical Examples of ulema

British Dictionary definitions for ulema



a variant of ulama 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 ulema

"scholars of Muslim religious law," 1680s, from Arabic 'ulema "learned men, scholars," plural of 'alim "learned," from 'alama "to know."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper