Islam A high-ranking Shiite religious authority regarded as worthy of imitation in matters of religious law and interpretation.(noun)
Islam Used as a title for such a leader.(noun)
American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Use "ayatollah" in a sentence
"His successor, Ali Khamenei, also a fighter against the shah rather than a religious authority, was hastily "promoted" to the title ayatollah in order to become supreme leader."
"And a prime example of this would be Iran … The ayatollah is both the religious leader and the political leader."
"And to call the ayatollah's words lame propaganda ignores the fact that it is so effective in rallying our enemies."