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

Word History

Etymology

Arabic shīʽa followers, faction, sect

First Known Use

1626, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of Shia was in 1626

Dictionary Entries Near Shia

Cite this Entry

“Shia.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Shia. Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

Shia

noun
variants or Shi'a
ˈshē-(ˌ)ä
plural Shia or Shi'a also Shias or Shi'as
1
: one of the two main branches of Islam
2
: a Muslim who is a member of the Shia branch of Islam : shiite
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