Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. In Muslim legend, a spirit often capable of assuming human or animal form and exercising supernatural influence over people.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a supernatural being with extraordinary powers that usually takes human form and serves its summoner: djinn, genie

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (Islam) an invisible spirit mentioned in the Koran and believed by Muslims to inhabit the earth and influence mankind by appearing in the form of humans or animals

Etymologies

Arabic jinnī, demonic, demon, from jinn, demons, from janna, to cover, conceal; see gnn in Semitic roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • I comforted myself with the thought, rubbing the ring in the darkness, as though it contained a jinni that could advise me.

    Sick Cycle Carousel

  • Shahrazad gets to the end of the story of the merchant and the jinni on the third night of her marriage: The tales of the three old men are so marvelous that the jinni (setting a good ­example for King Shahriyar) sets the merchant free.

    Old Tales That Still Seduce

  • She told him the tale of a wealthy merchant who was taken captive by a vengeful jinni and condemned to die.

    Old Tales That Still Seduce

  • The merchant's cause is taken up by three old men, who cajole the jinni into postponing the execution until they tell their stories.

    Old Tales That Still Seduce

  • The record industry seems to think they can legislate the jinni back into the bottle, rather than adapting to new realities.

    Mennonites, those Goth kids, and al Qaeda

  • In Islam-associated mythology, the jinn were said to be controllable by magically binding them to objects, as Suleiman Solomon most famously did; the Spirit of the Lamp in the story of Aladdin was such a jinni, bound to an oil lamp.

    Archive 2006-05-01

  • So she start writing about Amma and jinni and exorcism.

    Reader reviews of Brick Lane by Monica Ali.

  • I — about the Prince and the Princess whose beauty set the fairy and the jinni disputing.

    The Life of Sir Richard Burton

  • Who does not sympathise with the Trader who killed the invisible son of the jinni?

    The Life of Sir Richard Burton

  • Sirmio and Rome succeeded to Baghdad and Damascus; jinni and ghoul fled before hoofed satyrs and old Silenus shaking his green stick of lilies.

    The Life of Sir Richard Burton

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  • "I comforted myself with the thought, rubbing the ring in the darkness, as though it contained a jinni that could advise me."
    —Diana Gabaldon, Outlander (NY: Delacorte Press, 1991), 834

    January 1, 2010