Shi·​ism ˈshē-ˌi-zəm How to pronounce Shiism (audio)
: Islam as taught by the Shia

Examples of Shiism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the Red Sea, the Houthis, who are adherents of a variant of Shiism, have relentlessly attacked commercial shipping, provoking the United States and the United Kingdom to strike Houthi targets in Yemen. Toby Matthiesen, Foreign Affairs, 9 Feb. 2024 Zaydi theology differs significantly from the main type of Shiism practiced in Iran and Lebanon, but throughout the years the Houthis have moved their religion closer to that of Iran, importing Iranian customs. Nicolas Niarchos, The New Yorker, 31 Jan. 2024 There are important doctrinal differences between mainstream Shiism and Zaidi Islam: mainstream Shiites recognize 12 imams, for instance, while Zaidis recognize only five. Alexandra Stark, Foreign Affairs, 11 Jan. 2024 Because the Shia identity is more expansive and open ended than that of the Sunni many heterodox groups take refuge under the umbrella of Shiism even if their connection to the Twelve Shiism dominant in Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon, is tenuous at best. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 15 Sep. 2013

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Shiism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1883, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Shiism was circa 1883

Dictionary Entries Near Shiism

Cite this Entry

“Shiism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2024.

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