This sect originated in Iraq in the mid 9th century but took root in Syria after establishing itself at Latakia in the 11th century. It is now widely dispersed in western and northern Syria and in south-eastern areas of present-day Turkey. Since 1924 it has usually been known as Alawi.
Of, relating to, or designating the Nusayris. Compare "Alawi", "Alawite".
Late 18th century; earliest use found in Robert Heron (1764–1807), journalist and author. From Arabic Nuṣayrī, adjective and noun from al-Nuṣayriyya (collective plural), the name of a Shiite minority sect from the name of Muḥammad Ibn Nuṣayr, the first theologian of the sect + -ī.