Definition of Alawi in English:


(also Alawite)


  • A member of a Shiite Muslim group living mainly in Syria.

    • ‘"We are about 50,000 Alawites," he said.’
    • ‘Mr. Hadimogullari is an Alawite whose grandparents found themselves Turkish citizens when his hometown, Samandag, formerly part of Syria, was ceded to Turkey in 1923.’
    • ‘Alawis hold the positions of real power in the ruling party.’
    • ‘There are five Muslim sects in Lebanon: Sunnis, Shi'is, Druze, Alawis, and Ismailis.’


  • Relating to or denoting the Alawis.

    • ‘Tripoli is home to many members of Lebanon's small Alawite minority population.’
    • ‘There was considerable tension within the Alawi community.’
    • ‘He was a member of the small Alawite Shi'ite community in a country of predominantly Sunni Muslims.’
    • ‘It is a Sunni town with an Alawite town less than a mile to the south, interspersed with Christian and more Sunni settlements.’


Late 19th century: Arabic ‘Alawī (follower or descendant) of Ali (see Ali).