from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An ancient Indic language that is the language of Hinduism and the Vedas and is the classical literary language of India.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The ancient and sacred language of India, being that in which most of the vast literature of that country is written, from the oldest parts of the Vedas (supposed to date from about 2000-1500 b. c.) downward.
  • Of or pertaining to Sanskrit: as, early Sanskrit idioms.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The ancient language of the Hindoos, long since obsolete in vernacular use, but preserved to the present day as the literary and sacred dialect of India. It is nearly allied to the Persian, and to the principal languages of Europe, classical and modern, and by its more perfect preservation of the roots and forms of the primitive language from which they are all descended, is a most important assistance in determining their history and relations. Cf. Prakrit, and Veda.
  • adjective Of or pertaining to Sanskrit; written in Sanskrit.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • proper noun A classical language of India ("Indian Latin"), a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. Member of Indo-Iranian and thus Indo-European language family.

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

  • noun (Hinduism) an ancient language of India (the language of the Vedas and of Hinduism); an official language of India although it is now used only for religious purposes


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

[Sanskrit saṃskṛtam, from neuter of saṃskṛta-, perfected, refined : sam, together; see sem- in Indo-European roots + karoti, he makes; see kwer- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Sanskrit संस्कृत (saṃ-skṛtá, "perfected, prepared, constructed, refined").


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word Sanskrit.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "In 1890, the British officer Lieutenant Hamilton Bower traveled to Kucha, an oasis on the northern route around the Taklamakan, to investigate a murder. While there, he bought an ancient manuscript consisting of fifty-one leaves of birch bark with writing on them and announced the discovery to the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal. Within a few years scholars identified it as a medical text from the fifth century CE, making it the oldest known Sanskrit manuscript in the world by almost one thousand years."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 10

    December 30, 2016