Etymology
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ayatollah (n.)

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

updated on November 12, 2012

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Definitions of ayatollah from WordNet

ayatollah (n.)
a high-ranking Shiite religious leader who is regarded as an authority on religious law and its interpretation and who has political power as well;
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.

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