Etymology
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fatwa (n.)

1620s, from Arabic fetwa "a decision given by a mufti," related to fata "to instruct by a legal decision." Popularized in English 1989 when Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran issued a ruling sentencing author Salman Rushdie to death for publishing "The Satanic Verses" (1988). This was lifted 1998.

updated on October 21, 2014

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Definitions of fatwa from WordNet

fatwa (n.)
a ruling on a point of Islamic law that is given by a recognized authority;
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.