Ismaili

noun
Is·​ma·​ili
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

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on Ismaili

Britannica English: Translation of Ismaili for Arabic Speakers

Comments on Ismaili

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a topic to which one constantly reverts

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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