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Jun 15, 2017
This week’s theme
Words borrowed from Persian

This week’s words
satrap
dervish
baksheesh
ayatollah
pasha

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

ayatollah

PRONUNCIATION:
(ah-yuh-TO-luh)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A high-ranking religious leader of the Shiite Muslims.
2. A person having authority and influence, especially one who’s dogmatic.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Persian ayatollah (literally, sign of god), from Arabic ayatullah, from aya (sign) + allah (god). Earliest documented use: 1950.

USAGE:
“The ties debate has been rumbling for years. Having appeared tieless as a panellist [on BBC], I can hardly be considered an ayatollah on this issue.”
Quentin Letts; Oh, Paxo Do Put Your Tie Back On!; Daily Mail (London, UK); Nov 1, 2012.

See more usage examples of ayatollah in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
To a father growing old, nothing is dearer than a daughter. -Euripides, playwright (c. 480-406 BCE)

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