noun aya·tol·lah \ˌī-ə-ˈtō-lə, -ˈtä-, -ˈtə-, ˈī-ə-ˌ\

Definition of ayatollah

  1. :  a religious leader among Shiite Muslims —used as a title of respect especially for one who is not an imam

Origin and Etymology of ayatollah

Persian āyatollāh, literally, sign of God, from Arabic āyatallāh, from āya sign, miracle + allāh God

First Known Use: 1950

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