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dhim·mi (dĭmē) Islam
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n. pl. dhim·mis
1. A non-Muslim subject of a state governed according to the shari'a who is granted the freedom to worship and is entitled to the protection of life and property by the state, although constrained to pay a special tax and not granted the full legal status accorded to Muslim subjects. The status of dhimmi was originally limited to Christians and Jews but has occasionally been extended to Hindus, Zoroastrians, and others.
2. Offensive Used as a disparaging term for a non-Muslim who is perceived as behaving in a conciliatory manner toward Islam.

[Arabic immī, from Arabic imma, protected status of a dhimmi, from Arabic amma, to blame (so called because those with dhimmi status are entitled to blame their protectors and demand justice if their protectors do not fulfill their obligations); see mm in the Appendix of Semitic roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendicies

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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