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 (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).]


(ˌɪzmɑːˈiːlɪ) or


npl -lis
1. (Islam) a Shiah sect whose adherents believe that Ismail, son of the sixth imam, was the rightful seventh imam
2. (Islam) Also called: Ismailian a member of this sect
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Ismaili - an adherent of Ismailism; a member of the Ismaili branch of Shiism
adherent, disciple - someone who believes and helps to spread the doctrine of another
Adj.1.Ismaili - of or relating to a branch of Shiism that is noted for its esoteric philosophy
References in periodicals archive ?
A Shi'a offshoot group, the Nizari Ismailis, nick-named the "Assassins" by the West, were also in the area then; they actually made a few attempts on Saladin's life, as well as generally spreading fear and loathing throughout the entire Fertile Crescent.
A closer study of the Majlis and other Ismaili-inspired works of al-Shahrastani will be invaluable not only for appreciating the complex religious thought of this scholar and his intellectual heritage, but also for a better understanding of the doctrines of the Nizari Ismailis of the Alamut period whose literature has perished almost completely.
The book under review, written by an occultist scholar and a member of the Ordo Templi Orientis, a Western magical society, surveys the histories of the Nizari Ismailis (unfortunately, designated as the Assassins) of the Alamut period and the Templars, both categorized as secret societies; James Wasserman is also bent on showing that the Templar doctrines were greatly influenced by those espoused by the Nizaris, which remains merely the intention of the book as the author fails to prove his case.