1. A member of a police force, especially in Saudi Arabia, charged with enforcing adherence to Shari'a law, notably in application to public conduct and dress.
2. (used with a pl. verb) The members of this police force, considered as a group.
[Arabic muṭṭawwa', colloquial form of muṭṭawwi', volunteer, one following the noncompulsory practices recommended in the shari'a, active participle of iṭṭawwa'a, to volunteer, contracted form of taṭawwa'a, to volunteer, reflexive of ṭawwa'a, to make obedient, factative of ṭā'a, to be obedient; see ṭwʿ 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.