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also I·mam  (ĭ-mäm′)
n. Islam
a. In law and theology, the caliph who is successor to Muhammad as the lawful temporal leader of the Islamic community.
b. The male prayer leader in a mosque.
c. The Muslim worshiper who leads the recitation of prayer when two or more worshipers are present.
2. In Twelver Shia belief, any of 12 descendants of Muhammad regarded as divinely appointed spiritual and temporal leaders.
3. A ruler claiming descent from Muhammad and exercising authority in an Islamic state.
a. Any of the founders of the four schools of law and theology.
b. An authoritative scholar who founds a school of law or theology.
5. Used as a title for an imam.

[Arabic 'imām, leader, imam, from 'amma, to go before, lead; see ʔmm in Semitic roots.]


(ɪˈmɑːm) or


1. (Islam) a leader of congregational prayer in a mosque
2. (Islam) a caliph, as leader of a Muslim community
3. (Islam) an honorific title applied to eminent doctors of Islam, such as the founders of the orthodox schools
4. (Islam) any of a succession of either seven or twelve religious leaders of the Shiites, regarded by their followers as divinely inspired
[C17: from Arabic: leader, from amma he guided]



also i•maum

(ɪˈmɑm, ɪˈmɔm)

1. the officiating priest of a mosque.
2. the title for a Muslim leader or chief.
3. one of a succession of seven or twelve religious leaders, believed to be divinely inspired, of the Shi‘ites.
[1605–15; < Arabic imām leader, guide]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.imam - (Islam) the man who leads prayers in a mosqueimam - (Islam) the man who leads prayers in a mosque; for Shiites an imam is a recognized authority on Islamic theology and law and a spiritual guide
Mohammedanism, Muhammadanism, Muslimism, Islam, Islamism - the monotheistic religious system of Muslims founded in Arabia in the 7th century and based on the teachings of Muhammad as laid down in the Koran; "Islam is a complete way of life, not a Sunday religion"; "the term Muhammadanism is offensive to Muslims who believe that Allah, not Muhammad, founded their religion"
leader - a person who rules or guides or inspires others
Moslem, Muslim - a believer in or follower of Islam


[ɪˈmɑːm] Nimán m


[ɪˈmɑːm] nimam m
References in periodicals archive ?
According to official documents, Central Jail Peshawar is the most over-crowded prison in the province where female and juvenile imamates are facing shortage of space and living in miserable condition.
The KP's jails reforms mainly focused on overcoming problems of overcapacity in the central jails of the province that included improving standard of food menu and hygienic conditions to provide better living conditions to imamates, he explained.
None of the Sunni caliphates or imamates and Shi'ite imamates has succeeded.
And the staying fanatic Muslims are racing against each other to revive ancient and mostly failed theocracies, be they Shi'ite imamates or Sunni caliphates (see news15CaliphateApr8-13).
Through his writings, regarding the removal of the imamates from power, he helped bring about many changes in Yemen.
From the late Umayyad age on, the Ibacliyya were intermittently able to establish their own, territorially limited, imamates in a few regions of the Islamic world.