jin·​ni | \ ˈjē-nē How to pronounce jinni (audio) , ˈji- How to pronounce jinni (audio) , jə-ˈnē \
variants: or jinn \ ˈjin How to pronounce jinni (audio) \ or less commonly \ ˈjē-​nē How to pronounce jinni (audio) , ˈji-​ How to pronounce jinni (audio) , jə-​ˈnē \ or djinn \ ˈjin How to pronounce jinni (audio) \
plural jinn or jinns also djinn or djinns

Definition of jinni

1 : one of a class of spirits that according to Muslim demonology inhabit the earth, assume various forms, and exercise supernatural power

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Is that jinni or jinn? Djinni or djinn? Adopted from an Arabic word for demon (usually represented in our alphabet as jinnī), this word is spelled a variety of ways in English-including genie, a spelling that comes from the same Arabic word but by way of French. All of those variant spellings are used to describe a supernatural spirit from Arabic mythology that is made of fire or air and can assume human or animal form. Mythology holds that jinn (that's the plural of jinni) love to punish humans for any harm done to them and that they are the cause of many accidents and diseases.

Examples of jinni in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Traditionally, jinn aren't seen as good or evil, and that moral ambiguity carries over to the series. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 23 June 2019 Next to me was Said Suleiman Mohammed, herbalist and jinni hunter. Justin Fornal, National Geographic, 29 Jan. 2016 Although they are believed to exist in an endless variety of manifestations, negative and positive, jinn are most commonly thought to invade the homes and bodies of humans to cause distress. Justin Fornal, National Geographic, 29 Jan. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'jinni.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of jinni

1684, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for jinni

Arabic jinnī demon

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Cite this Entry

“Jinni.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jinni. Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on jinni

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for jinni

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about jinni


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