Meaning of Sunni in English:

Sunni

Translate Sunni into Spanish

nounSunni, Sunnis

mass noun
  • 1The larger of the two main branches of Islam, which differs from Shia in its understanding of the Sunna, its conception of religious leadership, and its acceptance of the first three caliphs.

    Compare with Shia

    ‘Leaving aside the division of Islam into two broad communities of Shia and Sunni, there are national differences which influence the thinking of individual Muslims.’
    • ‘The modern regional divisions of Shia, Sunni, and Kurd correspond roughly to ancient Sumer, Akkad, and Assyria, different lands and peoples who over time created a common culture.’
    • ‘The idea is one which every Iraqi seems keen to endorse, though each has his own idea of what democracy means, depending on whether he is a Shia, Kurd or Sunni.’
    • ‘The turnout in the main Sunni areas was low, not above 16 per cent.’
    • ‘It is important to try to get a clearer understanding of Sunni thinking for two reasons.’
    • ‘About 50 percent of the people of Yemen now belong to the Shafai sect of Sunni Islam.’
    • ‘He tried to bring water back to the martyrs in the seventh-century battle of Karbala, the conflict that divided the Muslim religion into the Shiite and Sunni sects.’
    • ‘At the beginning of the twenty-first century, 47 percent of the people profess to be Muslim (mainly Sunni branch) and 44 percent Russian Orthodox.’
    • ‘Clearly, there are other Sunni leaders who people can look to, and the Kurdish region is actually doing quite well.’
    • ‘For example, some countries are predominantly Roman Catholic and others predominantly Sunni.’
    • ‘The wider population of Sunni Muslims is another matter where crucial distinctions need to be made.’
    • ‘There is not now, nor has there ever been, any real sense of national identity that would unify the Kurds, the Sunni Arabs and the Shiite Arabs who make up the majority of the Iraqi people.’
    • ‘The Kurds in the north, the Sunni Arabs north and west of Baghdad, and the Shiite Arabs of the south and center inhabit vast swaths of territory.’
    • ‘The main sects of the Islamic religion practiced in this region are Sunni and Shi'a.’
    • ‘We analyzed this issue using estimated breakdowns of Muslim populations into Sunni, Shiite, and other sects.’
    1. 1.1count noun A Muslim who adheres to the Sunni branch of Islam.
      ‘For Islam, Sunnis and Shi'as will also be considered as separate groups.’
      • ‘What's the best way to bring Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds together under a cohesive democracy?’
      • ‘The Sunnis felt (in terms of succession) it should be the best man for the job.’
      • ‘The Sunnis will find themselves marginalized and disenfranchised by this, even more so than they feel today and the Kurds are going to retreat into their shell.’
      • ‘The Sunnis, the 20% minority who have dominated Iraq for centuries, were never conquered.’
      • ‘And without provisions to protect the rights of minority Kurds and Sunnis, the entire process could collapse.’
      • ‘The Sunnis, who account for only 20 per cent of the population, now feel threatened.’
      • ‘In it, he revealed that his mother was a Shi'ite and his father a Sunni.’

Pronunciation

Sunni

/ˈsʊni/ /ˈsʌni/

adjective

  • Relating to Sunni.

    ‘a Sunni Muslim’
    • ‘their shared Sunni faith’

Pronunciation

Sunni

/ˈsʊni/ /ˈsʌni/

Origin

Arabic sunnī (adjective), from sunna ‘custom, tradition, rule, law’ (see Sunna) + -i.