mul·​lah ˈmə-lə How to pronounce mullah (audio) ˈmu̇- How to pronounce mullah (audio)
: an educated Muslim trained in religious law and doctrine and usually holding an official post
mullahism noun

Examples of mullah in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The ones then isolated will be the mullahs in Iran and their proxies. TIME, 20 Feb. 2024 The mullahs come out of this arrangement, however, largely empty-handed. Christian Schneider, National Review, 21 Dec. 2023 That’s a welcome message aimed at deterring the mullahs in Tehran and their agents. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 24 Oct. 2023 No doubt, like other dictators around the world (such as North Korea’s Kim Jong Un), the mullahs have studied recent history and drawn the logical conclusions: Qaddafi and Saddam were overthrown by the United States after giving up their weapons of mass destruction programs. Max Boot, Foreign Affairs, 10 Mar. 2023 The Iranian mullahs still teach their people about American perfidy by citing the U.S.-backed coup that overthrew Mohammad Mosaddeq in 1953. Max Boot, Foreign Affairs, 10 Mar. 2023 Over the past 18 months, thousands have taken to the street to demand reforms; the mullahs have responded with lethal force, torture, and public executions. Stephen Witt, Popular Mechanics, 2 Mar. 2023 The mullah was clear. David Axe, Forbes, 30 Aug. 2021 The new head of administrative affairs at the Education Ministry, also a mullah, wore a cartridge belt to his appointment ceremony in December. New York Times, 13 Jan. 2022 See More

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

Word History


Turkish molla & Persian & Urdu mulla, from Arabic mawlā

First Known Use

1613, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mullah was in 1613

Dictionary Entries Near mullah

Cite this Entry

“Mullah.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

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