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Hero of a well-known story in TheThousand and One Nights. The son of a poor widow, Aladdin is a lazy, careless boy who meets an African magician claiming to be his uncle. He sends Aladdin into a cave to find a magic lamp, but Aladdin refuses to hand over the lamp until he is safely out of the cave. The angry magician shuts the boy in the cave and departs, but Aladdin discovers that he can summon powerful genies (jinn) by rubbing the lamp. The genies grant his every wish, and Aladdin becomes rich, marries the sultan's beautiful daughter, and reigns for many years.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Aladdin, visit Britannica.com.