Sun·​ni ˈsu̇(n)-(ˌ)nē How to pronounce Sunni (audio)
: the Muslims of the branch of Islam that adheres to the orthodox tradition and acknowledges the first four caliphs as rightful successors of Muhammad compare shia
: a Sunni Muslim
Sunni adjective

Examples of Sunni in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Biles, Chiles, Carey, Sunni Lee, and newcomer Hezly Rivera were all named to the official U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team on Sunday, June 30, while Roberson and Leanne Wong would be the team’s two traveling replacement athletes. Sean Neumann, Peoplemag, 3 July 2024 In particular, Ankara’s approval of the governance structure that emerges will bolster its popular legitimacy in the Sunni Muslim world. Asli Aydintasbas, Foreign Affairs, 6 June 2024 Hamas is also a Sunni group, as opposed to Shiite Hezbollah, which put the two groups on opposite sides of the Syrian civil war, with Hamas backing the anti-Assad rebels. Joshua Keating, Vox, 11 May 2024 Officer Masood Syed, a Sunni Muslim who had been suspended for refusing to trim his one-inch beard to 1 mm. Rocco Parascandola, New York Daily News, 11 Apr. 2024 This rhetoric now holds fresh appeal for regional audiences who were otherwise unsympathetic toward a Shiite theocracy and gives Iran a convenient opportunity to shame its Sunni Arab rivals. Suzanne Maloney, Foreign Affairs, 8 Apr. 2024 As a Sunni Islamist group, Hamas has had an even looser relationship with Iran. Joost Hiltermann, Foreign Affairs, 28 Mar. 2024 The declaration was met with loud protests from the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) party backed by Khan. Reuters, NBC News, 3 Mar. 2024 Speaker Ayaz Sadiq said Sharif secured 201 votes, defeating Omar Ayub of the Sunni Ittehad Council who got 92 votes. Munir Ahmed, Los Angeles Times, 3 Mar. 2024

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

Word History


Arabic sunnī, from sunna

First Known Use

1595, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of Sunni was in 1595

Dictionary Entries Near Sunni

Cite this Entry

“Sunni.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


Sun·​ni ˈsu̇n-(n)ē How to pronounce Sunni (audio)
plural Sunnis or Sunni
: one of the two main branches of Islam
: a Muslim who is a member of the Sunni branch of Islam

More from Merriam-Webster on Sunni

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