Definition of Muslim in US English:


(also Moslem)


  • A follower of the religion of Islam.

    • ‘Thus there has been much killing of Sunni and Shia Moslems by each other.’
    • ‘Normally the Sunni and Shia Moslems do not get along very well.’
    • ‘Although a devout Sikh, he took part in religious acts with Muslims and Hindus as well.’
    • ‘It is the British equivalent of Shia Muslims flagellating their backs with chains.’
    • ‘There was nothing in the film which criticised Muslims as a community or Islam as a religion.’
    • ‘Islam requires that all Moslems do what they can to defend Islamic lands when under attack from non-Moslems.’
    • ‘An Islam without Muslims then becomes a museum piece rather than a living faith.’
    • ‘Many are Moslems but have little understanding of their religion.’
    • ‘We hear a lot about problems between Sunni and Shia Muslims but this is a lie.’
    • ‘The Islamic Shariat says Muslims should not live in the land of the infidel for long.’
    • ‘This flavor of Islam is generally considered heretical by mainstream Moslems.’
    • ‘Shia know that many Sunni clerics in Saudi Arabia regularly preach that Shia Moslems are heretics.’
    • ‘It's an export that no one wants, and the Sunni Moslems will actively resist.’
    • ‘This is an area that has a long history of religious violence between Muslims and Christians.’
    • ‘Indeed, he wished to see all Muslims use Arabic as their language of everyday life.’
    • ‘The city, in southern Iraq, is the site of shrines which are sacred to Shia Muslims.’
    • ‘The Koran presumably remains for Muslims more like a fixed map of how the world should be.’
    • ‘To me it shows what little knowledge they have of Islam and how out of touch with Muslims they are.’
    • ‘For the approximately 30 days of Ramadan, Moslems are expected to fast from dawn to sunset.’
    • ‘For example, Muslims are proud that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the West.’


  • Relating to Muslims or their religion.

    • ‘More than a third of Muslim children live in households where no adults work.’
    • ‘Most of their victims, though, are Muslim Arabs whose final words were never recorded.’
    • ‘Andalusia was then the name applied to the region remaining under Muslim rule.’
    • ‘It claimed to represent the grievances and demands of the entire Indian Muslim community.’
    • ‘There are all sorts of items of dress which are worn by Muslim women, and these vary all over the world.’
    • ‘Earlier this year he demanded that Muslim women bare their heads in photos for their identity cards.’
    • ‘Their objective is Muslim countries' resources and one way or the other they are going to get them.’
    • ‘The Muslim family is the miniature of the whole of Muslim society and its firm basis.’
    • ‘As a consequence, art in India became very much more decorative and Moslem mosques became more important than Hindu temples.’
    • ‘I had to play a young woman who had all the grace and softness that Muslim girls have.’
    • ‘Religions are represented in the architecture of Christian cathedrals, Hindu temples, and Moslem mosques.’
    • ‘There is a sense of Islamic solidarity among all Muslim nations but there are also disputes.’
    • ‘They were trying to force the elected French government to lift its ban on Muslim veils in state schools.’
    • ‘One of the obstacles here is the lack of true dialogue in Muslim communities.’
    • ‘He has also been barred from many Muslim countries for his advocacy of democracy and human rights.’
    • ‘More than in any other Muslim country, women have leapt into the modern world.’
    • ‘The position of Muslim organisations and mosques has been consistent for years.’
    • ‘Some newspapers had even gone so far as to say that the meeting was to garner Muslim votes.’
    • ‘It is standard Muslim doctrine that one verse of the Koran can abrogate another.’
    • ‘As the word sunna suggests, some Muslim people believe it is religiously ordained.’


Muslim is the preferred term for ‘follower of Islam,’ although Moslem is also widely used. The archaic term Muhammadan (or Mohammedan) should be avoided


Early 17th century: from Arabic, active participle of 'aslama (see Islam).