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n. pl. Mah·dis Islam
a. The messiah prophesied to appear at the world's end and establish a reign of peace and righteousness.
b. In Twelver Shia belief, the 12th imam, who is expected to emerge from occultation to fulfill this role.
2. A person who claims to be or is seen as the messiah.

[Arabic mahdī, rightly guided one, Mahdi, passive participle of hadā, to lead; see hdy in Semitic roots.]

Mah′dism n.
Mah′dist n.
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.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Mahdist - an adherent of Mahdism
adherent, disciple - someone who believes and helps to spread the doctrine of another
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
In seeking to defeat the two principal opponents--Kings Kabalega of Bunyoro, and Mwanga of Buganda, the British coloniser Captain Frederick Lugard undertook a long march in 1898 through the north-west of what is now Uganda to relieve an isolated outpost commanded by the Sudanese commander Salim Bey, who had been literally holding the fort as a still loyal officer to the Anglo-Egyptian garrison of General Gordon, who had been killed in Khartoum when it was overrun in 1885 by Islamic Mahdist militants.
More recently, we have the fateful case of the 19th century protracted Sudanese Mahdist Revolt, led by a committed Sufi of the Sammaniya order.
In Sudan, a Sufi holy man named Muhammad Ahmad proclaimed himself the Mahdi, the redeemer of the Islamic faith and by 1885 had ousted the British-backed Ottoman-Egyptian government and established a Mahdist state.
Soldiers of the Sudan Armed Forces' 18th infantry brigade stationed in nearby Kosti attempted to replay a scene from Sudan's Mahdist history for entertainment.
A Royal Navy flotilla accompanied Lord Kitchener on his expedition up the Nile during the 1898 reconquest of the Sudan after the Mahdist Revolt, performing a number of functions in support of the land forces.
Sudan's only comparative experience might be the Mahdist Jihad of the 1880s.
The Mahdist regime (1882-1898) was an outcome of this state of affairs, as it resulted from a religious uprising against the cruelties and inhuman style of the Turkish rule.
The 1906 'Munshi Expedition', under Colonel Julian Hasler with twenty-six officers, stalled when his troops were called into action elsewhere in the North to fight the 'Mahdist' uprising at Satiru, near Sokoto.
Set in 19 th century Mahdist Sudan, "The Longing of the Dervish" draws heavily on the historical and spiritual symbolism of an important era of the modern Sudanese history.
During the country's stint with independence between 1886 and 1899, the Mahdist Sudan waged a war of religion against Ethiopia.
Shawq el Darwish is a love story about a Sudanese slave in 19 th century Sudan during the Mahdist revolution and the fall of Khartoum.