often capitalized
: the prayer leader of a mosque
: a Muslim leader of the line of Ali held by Shiites to be the divinely appointed, sinless, infallible successors of Muhammad
: any of various rulers that claim descent from Muhammad and exercise spiritual and temporal leadership over a Muslim region

Examples of imam in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Aga Khan Trust for Culture is in significant part funded by the private wealth of Aga Khan IV, the forty-ninth imam of the Nizari segment of the Ismaili Shias. John Ganz, Harper's Magazine, 22 May 2024 The imam was also attacked at gunpoint several months ago but managed to wrestle the gun away, Shareef said. David Matthews, New York Daily News, 3 Jan. 2024 The community welcomed him from Day 1, no questions asked, said Brother Kaleem, the imam, who turned to Islam in the 1970s and trained in Saudi Arabia. Carol Rosenberg Natalie Keyssar, New York Times, 9 May 2024 Messages seeking comment left with the Al Quds Committee Detroit and an imam who spoke at the rally were not returned. Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, 10 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for imam 

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

First Known Use

1613, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of imam was in 1613

Dictionary Entries Near imam

Cite this Entry

“Imam.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/imam. Accessed 15 Jul. 2024.

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