jinni, feminine jinniyah, plural jinn, in Arabic and Islamic folklore, spirit or demon endowed with supernatural power. In ancient belief the jinn were associated with the destructive forces of nature. In Islamic tradition they were corporeal spirits similar to men in appearance but having certain supernatural powers, especially those of changing in size and shape. Capable of both good and evil, the jinn were popular in literatures of the Middle East, notably in the stories of the Thousand and One Nights. The term genie is the English form and is sometimes confused with the Roman genius.
or genie plural jinn

In Arabic mythology, any of the supernatural spirits less powerful than angels or devils. Evil spirits of air or fire, they could take animal or human form and could dwell in inanimate objects or under the earth. They had the bodily needs of human beings and could be killed but were otherwise free of physical restraints. Jinn delighted in punishing humans for any harm done to them, but people who knew the proper magical procedure could exploit them to their own advantage. The jinn were popular subjects for folklore, notably in the tale of Aladdin in The Thousand and One Nights.

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