Also found in: Thesaurus.
Is·ma·i·li(ĭs′mä-ē′lē) also Is·ma·i·li·an (-ē′lē-ən)
n. pl. Is·ma·i·lis also Is·ma·i·li·ans
A member of a branch of Shiism that follows a living imam and is noted for esoteric philosophy.
[Arabic Isma'īlīy, after Isma'īl (died 760), son of the sixth imam, Jafar (700?-765).]
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.