Shia

noun
\ ˈshē-(ˌ)ä How to pronounce Shia (audio) \

Definition of Shia

1 : the Muslims of the branch of Islam comprising sects believing in Ali and the Imams as the only rightful successors of Muhammad and in the concealment and messianic return of the last recognized Imam — compare sunni
2 : shiite
3 : the branch of Islam formed by the Shia

First Known Use of Shia

1626, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for Shia

Arabic shīʽa followers, faction, sect

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about Shia

Statistics for Shia

Cite this Entry

“Shia.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Shia. Accessed 23 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for Shia

Shia

noun
How to pronounce Shia (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of Shia

: one of the two main branches of Islam
: a Muslim who is a member of the Shia branch of Islam

More from Merriam-Webster on Shia

Britannica English: Translation of Shia for Arabic Speakers

Comments on Shia

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

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
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!