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or Shi·ah also Shi·'a  (shē′ə)Islam
1. (Used with a pl. verb) The Shiites.
2. (used with a sing. verb) A Shiite.

[Arabic šī'a, following, sect, from šā'a, to spread, become known; see śyʕ 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.


(ˈʃiːə) or


1. (Islam) one of the two main branches of Islam (the other being the Sunni), making up a tenth or more of the entire Muslim population, and forming the majority in Iran and Iraq, which regards Mohammed's cousin Ali and his successors as the true imams
2. (Islam) another name for Shiite
(Islam) designating or characteristic of this sect or its beliefs and practices
[C17: from Arabic shī'ah sect, from shā'a to follow]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


or Shi•'a

(ˈʃi ə)

1. (used with a pl. v.) the Shi‘ites.
2. (used with a sing. v.) Shi‘ite.
[1620–30; < Arabic shī‘ah literally, sect]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Shiah - one of the two main branches of orthodox Islam; mainly in Iran
Islam, Muslimism - the civilization of Muslims collectively which is governed by the Muslim religion; "Islam is predominant in northern Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan, and Indonesia"
religious order, religious sect, sect - a subdivision of a larger religious group
Shia Muslim, Shiite, Shi'ite, Shiite Muslim, Shi'ite Muslim - a member of the branch of Islam that regards Ali as the legitimate successor to Mohammed and rejects the first three caliphs
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The man who says 'I don't have to be taught how to learn' is proud and ignorant.' Sufi Syncretism - Folklorist Sufis follow all of the orthodox practices of Sunni or Shi'ah Islam.
So this year I decided to go to the Manama souq with a friend, Angela, to witness first-hand the Shi'ah Islamic traditions and would like to thank Abbas Ebrahim for being our tour guide.
1420 AH/1999) was an authority on all aspects of the Shi'ah intellectual tradition and one of the few such authorities to have acquired the highest philosophical credential from a Western university and written works of great insight in the light of his twin intellectual attainments.
Classical Qur'anic interpreters and commentators, in their vast majority, both Sunni and Shi'ah, stated the prohibition of interfaith marriage for Muslim women, while recognizing interfaith marriage for Muslim men.
Unrest builds over withdrawn subsidies, homegrown Sunni extremists, and an unhappy Shi'ah minority.
(3) From this point of view, the annual ceremonies for the birth of Prophet Muhammad by the Sunni faction of Islam, the sacredness of the imams in the Shi'ah division of Islam, the use of music by the Sufi Muslims and many other practices by non-Wahhabi sections of the religion are acts of heresy.
Fortunately, the adherence of Turkey's sultans to the Sunni creed, and Persia's shahs to the Shi'ah creed of Islam, brought about wars between the two states.
A leader of the Shi'ah Amal Party -- a charitable institution created by one of the country's genuine patriots, the Imam Mousa Sadr, before it became a militia and a political party -- Berri used his perch to impose special rules, which were summarised with his quest for consensus long before any debates occurred.
Also, most of the schools of Islamic jurisprudence, except Shi'ah, endorse the doctrines of tafwid-al-talq and taliq-al-talaq.
I got an email the other day from a brain damaged vet of the Gulf War who was asking me about Samarra, Surra Man Ra'a, a spiritual city in Shi'ah Islamic Iraq, a culture I'm totally unfamiliar with.
Last year, Sudan closed down the daily newspaper Ra'y Al-Sha'b and sentenced its journalist Abu Zar al-Amin to five years in prison for publishing a report alleging that members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards had setup a weapon factory in Khartoum to supply arms to Somali insurgents and Shi'ah rebels in Yemen.