Kaf·​iri ˈka-fə-rē How to pronounce Kafiri (audio)
dated, often offensive; see usage paragraph below
Usage of Kafir and Kafiri

The terms Kafir and Kafiri come from Arabic kāfir, meaning "infidel," and allude to the time before the populace of what is now called Nuristan (formerly Kafiristan, in the Hindu Kush in northeastern Afghanistan) was forcibly converted to Islam at the turn of the 20th century. Both Kafir and Kafiri are dated terms and are now often considered offensive; Nuristani is used instead.

Word History

First Known Use

1883, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Kafiri was in 1883

Dictionary Entries Near Kafiri

Cite this Entry

“Kafiri.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Kafiri. Accessed 21 Sep. 2023.

Last Updated: - Definition revised
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