One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Especially in Iran (formerly Persia), Pakistan, and Afghanistan: a religious leader, teacher, or scholar.
Early 18th century; earliest use found in Atlas Geographus. From Persian āḵūnd theologian, (religious) scholar, mullah, preacher, teacher (in a traditional Qur'an school), in post-revolutionary Iran also used pejoratively to denote the ruling clerics, further etymology uncertain and disputed.
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