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See also: sunni and Suni


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From Arabic سُنِّيّ(sunniyy), from سُنَّة(sunna, Sunna) + ـِيّ(-iyy).


  • IPA(key): /ˈsʊni/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʊni


Sunni (comparative more Sunni, superlative most Sunni)

  1. Belonging or relating to the branch of Islam based on the Qur'an, the Kutub al-Sittah (the hadiths which record the Sunnah) and that places emphasis on the Sahabah.
    • 1919, H. E. Wingate, Alan de Lacy Rush, Jane Priestland year=2001, editor, Records of Iraq, 1914-1966, volume 2, page 181:
      I therefore strongly advocate the formation of a local capital but not at Hillah, which is too Sunni and near Baghdad
    • 1992, Bruce Lincoln, Discourse and the Construction of Society, page 36:
      members [] came to view themselves collectively as the righteous descendants of Husayn confronting an evil and fundamentally alien ruler: a shah more Zoroastrian than Muslim, more Sunni than Shi'i, more Arab than Iranian, more Yazid than Husayn.
    • 2012, Eamon Murphy, The Making of Terrorism in Pakistan: Historical and social roots ..., page 98:
      Many Shias who had become more Sunni in their religious practices reverted back to their original sect.
    Coordinate term: Shia



Sunni (countable and uncountable, plural Sunnis)

  1. (countable) A follower of Sunnism.
    Synonyms: Sunnite, Bukharist (less common), Hadithist (less common), Bakri (offensive), Sunnist (political), Nasibi (offensive)
    Hypernym: Muslim
    Coordinate terms: Shia, Sufi, Ahle Quran, Ahmadi, 5 percenter, Quranist, Mu'tazila, Ibadi, Nation of Islam, Mahdavi, Moorish Scientist, ghair muqallid, Muwahhid
  2. (uncountable) Sunni Islam.
    • 1998, Geert H. Hofstede, Masculinity and Femininity: The Taboo Dimension of National Cultures, page 205:
      In Islam, Sunni is a more triumphant version of the faith than Shia, which stresses the importance of suffering, following the founder Ali, who was persecuted.
    • 2009, Central Intelligence Agency, CIA World Factbook 2010, page xxviii:
      Sunni has four schools of Islamic doctrine and law — Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i, and Hanbali — which uniquely interpret the Hadith, or recorded oral traditions of Muhammad.
    • (Can we date this quote?), John Richard Thackrah - 2008, Routledge Companion to Military Conflict since 1945, page 129:
      Sunni is the mainstream religion, based in Mecca, and is generally more moderate.

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