Ala·​wi | \ ˈä-lə-wē How to pronounce Alawi (audio) , ˈä-lä- \
variants: or less commonly Alawite \ ˌa-​lə-​ˈwēt How to pronounce Alawite (audio) \

Definition of Alawi

: a member of a religious sect living mainly in Syria that originated in Shiite Islam but separated from other Shiite groups in the ninth and tenth centuries

First Known Use of Alawi

1869, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Alawi

Arabic ʽalawī, from the caliph ʽAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib, central figure in Shia Islam

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about Alawi

Time Traveler for Alawi

Time Traveler

The first known use of Alawi was in 1869

See more words from the same year

Statistics for Alawi

Cite this Entry

“Alawi.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 2020.

Comments on Alawi

What made you want to look up Alawi? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three bears two of them look like theyre whispering to a third bear who looks chuffed to be the center of attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!