One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A member of a Shiite Muslim group living mainly in Syria.
- ‘Alawis hold the positions of real power in the ruling party.’
- ‘"We are about 50,000 Alawites," he said.’
- ‘There are five Muslim sects in Lebanon: Sunnis, Shi'is, Druze, Alawis, and Ismailis.’
- ‘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.’
Relating to or denoting the Alawis.
- ‘He was a member of the small Alawite Shi'ite community in a country of predominantly Sunni Muslims.’
- ‘There was considerable tension within the Alawi community.’
- ‘Tripoli is home to many members of Lebanon's small Alawite minority population.’
- ‘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).
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