plural noun
mu·​ja·​hid·​een | \ mü-ˌjä-hi-ˈdēn How to pronounce mujahideen (audio) , mu̇-, -ˌja- \
variants: or mujahedin or less commonly mujahedeen

Definition of mujahideen

: Islamic guerrilla fighters especially in the Middle East

Examples of mujahideen in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Massoud Square is named for Ahmad Shah Massoud, a powerful mujahideen leader who fought against the Soviet occupation and later against the Taliban. Washington Post, 25 Mar. 2021 Operation Cyclone facilitated the training, arming, and empowering of the Afghan mujahideen—holy warriors—to fight the Soviet Union in the nineteen-eighties. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, 24 Mar. 2021 In its nine-year intervention, the USSR lost 15,000 troops in battle against the mujahideen, forerunners of today’s Taliban, who had received $20 billion in U.S. assistance. Fred Weir, The Christian Science Monitor, 9 July 2020 During the Reagan administration, the U.S. helped resistance fighters known as the mujahideen, sending them anti-aircraft missiles and other assistance. Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY, 4 July 2020 Some Western outlets have suggested that Russian intelligence may be hunting American troops as payback for the CIA’s support for the Afghan mujahideen who defeated the USSR in the 1980s. Fred Weir, The Christian Science Monitor, 9 July 2020 Some members of these U.S.-backed militants – the mujahideen – later formed the Taliban. Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY, 4 July 2020 During the Afghan civil war from 1992 to 1996, mujahideen armies waged such fierce and destructive assaults on one another that the rise of the Taliban was initially welcomed as a relief from the carnage. Dan Xin Huang, The New Republic, 29 Apr. 2020 Proxy wars became common, such as the United States’s support of the Afghani mujahideen to destabilize the Soviet Union rather than to support a Muslim revolution. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, 5 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mujahideen.' 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 mujahideen

1887, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mujahideen

Arabic mujāhidīn, plural of mujāhid, literally, person who wages jihad

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Time Traveler for mujahideen

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The first known use of mujahideen was in 1887

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Cite this Entry

“Mujahideen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on mujahideen

Britannica English: Translation of mujahideen for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about mujahideen


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