ule·​ma | \ ˌü-lə-ˈmä How to pronounce ulema (audio) \
variants: or ulama

Definition of ulema

1 plural in construction : the body of mullahs
2 : mullah

Examples of ulema in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The conservative ulema felt that these philosophers were inappropriately influenced by Greek philosophy and Shia Islam against Sunni beliefs. Ahmet T. Kuru, The Conversation, "Execution for a Facebook post? Why blasphemy is a capital offense in some Muslim countries," 20 Feb. 2020 Jokowi said the conference was part of Indonesia's efforts to encourage the role of Islamic clerics, or ulema, in promoting peace in Afghanistan. Fox News, "Muslim scholars: Suicide attacks violate Islamic principles," 11 May 2018 But there has been a definite uptick in the targeted killing of scholars — widely known as ulema — as the Taliban have intensified their offensives in the past two years, officials say. Mujib Mashal And Jawad Sukhanyar, New York Times, "Taliban Target: Scholars of Islam," 28 May 2017

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

1688, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ulema

Arabic, Turkish, & Persian; Turkish & Persian ʽulemā, from Arabic ʽulamā

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Time Traveler for ulema

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The first known use of ulema was in 1688

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Cite this Entry

“Ulema.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ulema. Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on ulema

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ulema

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ulema

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