Wah·​habi wə-ˈhä-bē How to pronounce Wahhabi (audio)
variants or less commonly Wahabi
: a member of a puritanical Muslim sect founded in Arabia in the 18th century by Muhammad ibn-Abdul Wahhab and revived by ibn-Saud in the 20th century
Wahhabism noun
or less commonly Wahabism
Wahhabite adjective or noun
or less commonly Wahabite

Examples of Wahhabi in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Al-Shabab rejects Somalia’s traditional Sufi form of Islam and wants to institute the much harsher Wahhabi rule, originating in Saudi Arabia. Katharine Houreld, Washington Post, 10 Jan. 2024 Another Saudi cleric with whom Bayoumi worked, Fahad al-Thumairy, was posted to Los Angeles as both a diplomat at the Saudi Consulate and a senior imam at the nearby King Fahad Mosque — a pillar of the global effort to spread Wahhabi Islam that had opened in mid-1998. Tim Golden, ProPublica, 12 June 2023 The white-marble mosque was an anchor of a Saudi government network of religious operatives who propagated the kingdom’s conservative Wahhabi faith around the United States. Tim Golden, ProPublica, 27 Apr. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Wahhabi.' 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 wahhābī, from Muḥammad ibn ʽAbd al-Wahhāb (Abdul-Wahhab) †1787 Arab religious reformer

First Known Use

1807, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Wahhabi was in 1807

Dictionary Entries Near Wahhabi

Cite this Entry

“Wahhabi.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Wahhabi. Accessed 23 May. 2024.

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