shiite

Shiʿite

[shee-ahyt]
noun Islam.
a member of one of the two great religious divisions of Islam that regards Ali, the son-in-law of Muhammad, as the legitimate successor of Muhammad, and disregards the three caliphs who succeeded him.
Also, Shiite, Shiʿa, Shiʿah, Shiʿi [shee-ee, shee-ee] .
Compare Sunni ( def 1 ).


Origin:
Shiʿah + -ite1

Shiʿism [shee-iz-uhm] , noun
Shiʿitic [shee-it-ik] , adjective
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World English Dictionary
Shiite or Shiah (ˈʃiːaɪt)
 
n
1.  an adherent of Shiah
 
adj
2.  of or relating to Shiah
 
Shiah or Shiah
 
n
 
adj
 
Shiitic or Shiah
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

Shiite
1728, "a member of the Shia sect of Islam," from Shiah (1626) from Arabic shi'ah "partisans, followers, sect, company, faction" (from sha'a "to follow") + -ite, Latin-derived suffix denoting "follower." Follower of the branch of Islam that recognizes Ali, Muhammad's son-in-law, as the lawful successor
of the Prophet; the minority who believed, after the death of the Prophet, that spiritual and political authority followed his family line, as opposed to the Sunni, who took Abu Bakr as the political leader of the community. The Arabic name is short for Shi'at Ali "the party of Ali."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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