Mahdi (n.)

1792, from Arabic mahdiy, literally "he who is guided aright," past participle of hada "to lead in the right way." In Islamic belief, a spiritual and temporal leader destined to appear on earth during the last days. Applied c. 1880 to insurrectionary leaders in the Sudan who claimed to be him. Related: Mahdism; Mahdiism; Mahdian.

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