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[bis-mil-uh] /bɪsˈmɪl ə/
interjection, Arabic.
in the name of Allah. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for bismillah
Historical Examples
  • He was gratified at my recognising the propriety of his saying ‘bismillah’ over any animal killed for food.

    Letters from the Cape Lady Duff Gordon
  • They instantly set about their ablutions, and began to repeat the bismillah.

    Vathek William Beckford
  • In the third place, when specially instructed to say “bismillah!”

    Three Ghost Stories Charles Dickens
  • These had their throats cut, with the usual formula, "bismillah!"

    The Arab's Pledge Edward L. Mitford
  • He wears a turban and a beard like another, and is all for the sack practice, bismillah!

    The History of Pendennis William Makepeace Thackeray
  • The meal then began with the bismillah--'In the name of the most merciful God'--for grace.

    Oriental Women Edward Bagby Pollard
  • Ejaculating ‘bismillah’—the Moslem grace—we all sat round it, and dipped equal hands in the dishes set before us.

    Travels in Arabia Bayard Taylor
  • They use it at the ceremonies of circumcision, bismillah (teaching the child “the name of God”), virginity and marriage.

  • After half-an-hour's grace we commenced ascending up the rocky and rain-scoured slope, with a fervid "bismillah" on our lips.

  • Every one sat closely around the table, and all said "bismillah" before eating, which is the Mohammedan way of saying grace.

    Our Little Arabian Cousin Blanche McManus
British Dictionary definitions for bismillah


the words which preface all except one of the surahs of the Koran, used by Muslims as a blessing before eating or some other action
Word Origin
shortened from Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim, from Arabic, literally: in the name of God, the merciful and compassionate
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bismillah

first attested in English in Byron, from Arabic bi'smillah(i) "in the name of God" (Allah).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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