Shi·​ite ˈshē-ˌīt How to pronounce Shiite (audio)
: a Muslim of the Shia branch of Islam
Shiite adjective

Examples of Shiite in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The assaults on shipping have raised the profile of the Houthis, who are members of Islam’s minority Shiite Zaydi sect, which ruled Yemen for 1,000 years until 1962. Jon Gambrell, Quartz, 17 Mar. 2024 The group, which espouses a religious ideology inspired by a sect of Shiite Islam, has honed its military capabilities through years of civil war. Thomas Fuller, New York Times, 12 Jan. 2024 In 2014, the Houthis — who espouse a religious ideology inspired by a sect of Shiite Islam — took over the Yemeni capital, Sana. Shuaib Almosawa, New York Times, 20 Dec. 2023 The rebels named themselves after Hussein al-Houthi, a key figure who promoted the Zaydi branch of Shiite Islam, which dominated Yemen for centuries. Leo Sands, Washington Post, 12 Dec. 2023 On one side are the Houthis, an insurgent Shiite Islamist movement that grew out of a northwestern Yemeni tribe; on the other side is a regime backed by a coalition of Sunni Arab states, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Samanth Subramanian, The New York Review of Books, 30 Nov. 2023 Four days ago, Baghdad deployed thousands of its forces and the militias of the Shiite Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) to Kirkuk, which is claimed by both the KRG and Baghdad. Ranj Alaaldin, Foreign Affairs, 20 Oct. 2017 Lebanon’s complex political system means the presidency is usually given to a Christian, while the prime minister is a Sunni Muslim and the speaker of parliament a Shiite. Dana Khraiche,, 5 June 2023 Saudi Arabia’s military intervention against the Shiite Houthis began in 2015. Scott Peterson, The Christian Science Monitor, 17 Apr. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Shiite.' 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

1728, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Shiite was in 1728

Dictionary Entries Near Shiite

Cite this Entry

“Shiite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


variants or Shi'ite
plural Shiites or Shi'ites
: a Muslim who is a member of the Shia branch of Islam
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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