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noun (1)

: a professional jurist who interprets Muslim law


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noun (2)

muf·​ti ˈməf-tē How to pronounce mufti (audio)
: ordinary dress as distinguished from that denoting an occupation or station
a priest in mufti
especially : civilian clothes when worn by a person in the armed forces

Did you know?

In the Islamic tradition, a mufti is a professional jurist who interprets Muslim law. When religious muftis were portrayed on the English stage in the early 19th century, they typically wore costumes that included a dressing gown and a tasseled cap—an outfit that some felt resembled the clothing preferred by the off-duty military officers of the day. The clothing sense of mufti, which first appeared in English around that same time, is thought to have developed out of this association of stage costume and civilian clothing.

Examples of mufti in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
The British also created the Supreme Muslim Council to oversee Islamic property, endowments, schools and courts and appointed Haj Amin al-Husseini, from a rival elite family, to head the council as the grand mufti of Jerusalem. Seyward Darby, Longreads, 14 Feb. 2024 But the mufti made a visit to Hitler, which is often used against the Palestinians.20 20 Al-Husseini aided a pro-Nazi coup in Baghdad. Emily Bazelon, New York Times, 1 Feb. 2024 The chaos on Tuesday in Benghazi that resulted in the death of the U.S. ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, was set in motion the Sunday before when Ali Gomaa, the grand mufti of Egypt, spoke out This article is part of our premium archives. Jytte Klausen, Foreign Affairs, 13 Sep. 2012 He was elected mufti of Sunni Muslims in Ukraine in 2009. Carlotta Gall, New York Times, 15 Sep. 2023 In a flashy video posted on his personal Telegram page, Mr. Kadyrov, flanked by his sons and Chechnya’s official mufti, said 12,000 Chechens were ready to fight in Ukraine. Thomas Grove, WSJ, 18 Mar. 2022 Six years into the war, Mr. Putin turned the chief mufti of Chechnya to betray the rebel cause. New York Times, 29 Mar. 2022 At the time, Palestinian Arab politics was dominated by Amin al-Husseini, who had been appointed by the ruling British as the grand mufti of Jerusalem. Sean Durns, National Review, 7 June 2021 This dangerous group was further stoked by the grand mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al Husseini, who deeply hated the Jews. Joseph Samuels, WSJ, 28 May 2021

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

Word History


Noun (1)

Arabic muftī

Noun (2)

probably from mufti entry 1

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1586, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1816, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mufti was in 1586


Dictionary Entries Near mufti

Cite this Entry

“Mufti.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: civilian clothes
an off-duty soldier in mufti

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