variants: or Ismaʽili \ ˌizmäˈē(ˌ)lē , ˌism-​ , -​məˈē-​ \ or less commonly Ismailian \ -​lēən \
plural -s

Definition of Ismaili

: one of a Shiʽa sect composed of those who recognize the Aga Khan as imam

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History and Etymology for Ismaili

Ismaili, Ismaʽili from Arabic Ismaʽīlīy, from Ismaʽīla.d. 760 son of the sixth imam Jafar al-Sadiq and in the opinion of the Ismailis his true successor; Ismailian from Arabic Ismaʽīlīy + English -an

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Cite this Entry

“Ismaili.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Nov. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on Ismaili

Britannica English: Translation of Ismaili for Arabic Speakers

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