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also I·mam  (ĭ-mäm′)
n. Islam
a. In law and theology, the caliph who is successor to Muhammad as the lawful temporal leader of the Islamic community.
b. The male prayer leader in a mosque.
c. The Muslim worshiper who leads the recitation of prayer when two or more worshipers are present.
2. In Twelver Shia belief, any of 12 descendants of Muhammad regarded as divinely appointed spiritual and temporal leaders.
3. A ruler claiming descent from Muhammad and exercising authority in an Islamic state.
a. Any of the founders of the four schools of law and theology.
b. An authoritative scholar who founds a school of law or theology.
5. Used as a title for an imam.

[Arabic 'imām, leader, imam, from 'amma, to go before, lead; see ʔmm in Semitic roots.]


(ɪˈmɑːm) or


1. (Islam) a leader of congregational prayer in a mosque
2. (Islam) a caliph, as leader of a Muslim community
3. (Islam) an honorific title applied to eminent doctors of Islam, such as the founders of the orthodox schools
4. (Islam) any of a succession of either seven or twelve religious leaders of the Shiites, regarded by their followers as divinely inspired
[C17: from Arabic: leader, from amma he guided]



also i•maum

(ɪˈmɑm, ɪˈmɔm)

1. the officiating priest of a mosque.
2. the title for a Muslim leader or chief.
3. one of a succession of seven or twelve religious leaders, believed to be divinely inspired, of the Shi‘ites.
[1605–15; < Arabic imām leader, guide]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.imam - (Islam) the man who leads prayers in a mosqueimam - (Islam) the man who leads prayers in a mosque; for Shiites an imam is a recognized authority on Islamic theology and law and a spiritual guide
Mohammedanism, Muhammadanism, Muslimism, Islam, Islamism - the monotheistic religious system of Muslims founded in Arabia in the 7th century and based on the teachings of Muhammad as laid down in the Koran; "Islam is a complete way of life, not a Sunday religion"; "the term Muhammadanism is offensive to Muslims who believe that Allah, not Muhammad, founded their religion"
leader - a person who rules or guides or inspires others
Moslem, Muslim - a believer in or follower of Islam


[ɪˈmɑːm] Nimán m


[ɪˈmɑːm] nimam m
References in periodicals archive ?
He told a court he needed an ISIS imam to exorcise him in Syria after Sunni imams in Birmingham and Luton failed to 'cleanse his soul.
It also attacks Iranian Sunni imams like Mowlana Abdol Hamid, the Friday prayer leader in Sunni-majority Zahedan, who has been a popular stalwart of the Iranian Sunnis due to his efforts to better their conditions and fight discrimination while also countering the influence of Takfiri groups like AlQaeda and the Islamic State.
TEHRAN (FNA)- A group of Sunni imams from around the UK are to take an eight-day trip to Iraq, including to territories formerly held by ISIS/ISIL as part of an effort to counter radicalization back home.
Shiites are refusing blood from Muslim Sunnis for their wounded co-religionists; Shiites refuse to pray behind Sunni imams, and Sunnis behind Shiite imams.