akhund

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Persian آخوند.

Noun[edit]

akhund (plural akhunds)

  1. (chiefly historical) A spiritual leader in Persia and parts of Central Asia.
    • 1874, William Henry Paget, A Record of the Expeditions Undertaken against the North-west Frontier Tribes:
      The Akhund of Swat, conscious of past deeds deserving of retribution, evidently conceived objects on our part beyond the punishment of the immediate offenders on the Black Mountain.
    • 1990, Peter Hopkirk, The Great Game, Folio Society 2010, p. 20:
      He was Khiva's akhund, or spiritual leader, who reminded the Khan that his victory had been won through treachery, and warned him that butchering the prisoners would merely worsen the crime in the eyes of God.
    • 2007, Sana Haroon, Frontier of Faith, Columbia University Press 2007, p. 41:
      Yet Sayyid Akbar was a weak ruler and produced no capable heirs, at least in the opinion of the Akhund.