In Arabic mythology, any of the supernatural spirits less powerful than angels or devils. Evil spirits of air or fire, they could take animal or human form and could dwell in inanimate objects or under the earth. They had the bodily needs of human beings and could be killed but were otherwise free of physical restraints. Jinn delighted in punishing humans for any harm done to them, but people who knew the proper magical procedure could exploit them to their own advantage. The jinn were popular subjects for folklore, notably in the tale of Aladdin in The Thousand and One Nights.