Definition of Mahdi in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmɑːdi/

noun (plural Mahdis)

1(In popular Muslim belief) a spiritual and temporal leader who will rule before the end of the world and restore religion and justice.
Example sentences
  • Its name suggests that he sees the coming of the Muslim promised one, the Mahdi, as imminent.
  • Men say that a certain religious Mullah has prophesied the immediate second coming of the Mahdi.
1.1A person claiming to be the Mahdi, notably Muhammad Ahmad of Dongola in Sudan (1843–85), whose revolutionary movement captured Khartoum and overthrew the Egyptian regime.
Example sentences
  • In 909 a leader claiming descent from Isma il proclaims himself the Mahdi and creates a state in North Africa.
  • There, a revolt led by a religious leader, Muhammad Ahmed, self-styled the Mahdi, had started in 1881.
  • In 1881, a religious leader named Muhammad ibn Abdalla proclaimed himself the Mahdi, or the ‘expected one,’ and began a religious crusade to unify the tribes in western and central Sudan.
1.2(In Shiite belief) the twelfth imam, who is expected to return and triumph over injustice.
Example sentences
  • The Safavid state in Iran was founded in 1501 by Shiite tribes who believed that Shah Ismail was divine, and perhaps that he was the herald of the Shiite Mahdi or messiah.



Example sentences
  • Mahdism can be highly militant.
  • A note in the gallery says: ‘Mahdism remains a vital political force in contemporary Sudan’.


noun& adjective
Example sentences
  • In July of the previous year, while the British were engaged in a war against the Mahdists in the Sudan, a French contingent, with the cooperation of the Belgian authorities in the Congo, took possession of Fashoda, on the Nile.
  • The Mahdists were defeated at Omdurman on 2 September 1898 and on 19 September Kitchener confronted Marchand at Fashoda, on the headwaters of the Nile.
  • In this battle the Anglo-Egyptian force commanded by Kitchener defeated the Mahdists and established British dominance in Sudan.


From Arabic (al-)mahdī 'he who is guided in the right way', passive participle of hadā 'to guide'.

Words that rhyme with Mahdi

cadi, cardy, Guardi, Hardie, hardy, lardy, mardy, Saadi, samadhi, tardy, Yardie

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: Mahdi

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