1. A Muslim man respected for his religious knowledge or scholarship.
2. Used as a courtesy title for such a leader or scholar.
[Ultimately (partly via Persian and Urdu mawlānā) from Arabic, mawlānā : mawlā, master, friend; see MULLAH + -nā, our; see -n in the Appendix of Semitic roots.]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
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:
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.