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1. The tenth day of Muharram, observed as a holy day of mourning by Shiites on the anniversary of the death of Hussein, grandson of Muhammad.
2. The tenth day of Muharram, observed in Sunni Islam as an optional day of fasting established by Muhammad.
[Arabic 'āšūrā', the tenth day of Muharram kept as a day of fasting by Arabs in pre-Islamic times, Ashura, ultimately (probably via Aramaic *'āsorā) from Hebrew 'āśôr, a set of ten (days, etc.), decade (used in Leviticus to specify the date of Yom Kippur, the tenth day of Tishri), from 'eśer, ten; see ʕśr in Semitic roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
(Islam) Islam a Shiah festival observed on the tenth day of Muharram in the Islamic calendar to commemorate the death of the martyr Imam Hussein bin Ali at the Battle of Karbala in 61 ah (680 ad)
[C21: from Arabic `Ashūrā]
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