Ayatollah



(among Shiʿites) a title in the religious hierarchy achieved by scholars who have demonstrated highly advanced knowledge of Islamic law and religion.
Contemporary Examples

The ayatollah Khomeini famously called the United States the Great Satan.
David’s Book Club: Darkness At Noon David Frum August 25, 2012

For Pawlenty, evidently, Thomas Jefferson and the ayatollah Khomeini saw government pretty much the same way.
Nonsense at CPAC Peter Beinart February 21, 2010

And what would an ayatollah’s statement be without a few potshots at the West?
What’s Happening in Iran The Daily Beast February 10, 2010

Indeed, ayatollah Khamenei, just last week, described the country as a “rabid dog.”
Gamechanger: Inside the Historic Iran Nuclear Deal Christopher Dickey November 23, 2013

Herbert Block had in mind, of course, the coming of the ayatollah.
Egypt Proves Bush Right Stephen L. Carter January 31, 2011

But John is sure that he can nurture ayatollah to bring out the best in him, if only Tzipi and Saeb will do their best for Salaam.
If The Peace Talks Were A Movie Matthew Kalman December 11, 2013

The top clerics who are connected to ayatollah Khamenei, they all have a say.
An Iranian Secret Agent’s Message to America Reza Aslan April 3, 2010

Me: But did you hear that ayatollah Montazeri asked for a mourning from wednesday to friday?
Exclusive Tehran Account: Rejoicing Rafsanjani’s Daughter’s Release Parvez Sharma June 20, 2009

It’s for the crime of apostasy (in this case, writing a novel) that ayatollah Khomenei sent death squads for Salman Rushdie.
Don’t Let the Maccabees Win Matt Lerner December 3, 2013

ayatollah Khomeini is best known as the stern face of the Islamic Revolution that took over Iran in 1979.
@Revolution: Taking a Page from Khomeini’s Playbook Nasser Weddady, Jesse Sage June 16, 2009

noun
one of a class of Iranian Shiite religious leaders
n.

honorific title for an Iranian Shiite religious leader, 1950, from Persian, from Arabic ayatu-llah, literally “miraculous sign of God.”

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  • Khamenei

    Ayatollah Mohammed Ali, born 1939, chief Islamic leader of Iran since 1989. Contemporary Examples It’s true to an extent: the Guardian Council selects candidates and Khamenei retains his role. Who’s Dismissing the Iranian Elections? Ali Gharib June 16, 2013 A few weeks ago, the Iranian parliament, again, of course, handpicked by Khamenei, was ready to […]

  • Ayatollah khomeini

    Ayatollah Ruhollah [roo-hoh-luh;; Persian roo-haw-lah] /ruˈhoʊ lə;; Persian ˌru hɔˈlɑ/ (Show IPA), 1900?–89, Islamic leader of Iran 1979–89. Contemporary Examples The ayatollah khomeini famously called the United States the Great Satan. David’s Book Club: Darkness At Noon David Frum August 25, 2012 For Pawlenty, evidently, Thomas Jefferson and the ayatollah khomeini saw government pretty much […]



  • Khomeini

    Ayatollah Ruhollah [roo-hoh-luh;; Persian roo-haw-lah] /ruˈhoʊ lə;; Persian ˌru hɔˈlɑ/ (Show IPA), 1900?–89, Islamic leader of Iran 1979–89. Contemporary Examples They thought Khomeini would open the door to paradise for them, and we see that he opened the door to hell. Iran’s Exiled Queen Speaks The Daily Beast June 16, 2009 He was also Time’s […]

  • Ayatollah ruhollah khomeini

    Ayatollah Ruhollah [roo-hoh-luh;; Persian roo-haw-lah] /ruˈhoʊ lə;; Persian ˌru hɔˈlɑ/ (Show IPA), 1900?–89, Islamic leader of Iran 1979–89. noun Ruholla (ˈruhɒˈlɑː), known as Ayatollah Khomeini. 1900–89, Iranian Shiite Muslim religious and political leader. Following the overthrow of the shah of Iran (1979) he returned from exile and instituted an Islamic republic. His rule saw deteriorating […]



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