Definitions

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

  • n. A member of the second-lowest of the four major castes of traditional Indian society, comprising farmers, herders, merchants, and businessmen.
  • adj. Of or relating to the class of Vaisyas.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Alternative form of Vaishya.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The third of the four great original castes among the Hindus, now either extinct or partially represented by the mercantile class of Banyas. See the Note under caste, 1.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A member of the third caste among the Hindus—that is to say, of the main body of the Aryan people, as distinguished on the one hand from the priestly and noble classes, the Brahmans and Kshatriyas, and on the other hand from the subjugated aborigines, the Sudras and others, and from degraded outcasts. In modern times they are divided into many sub-castes.

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

  • n. a member of the mercantile and professional Hindu caste; the third of the four main castes
  • n. the third of the four varnas: the commoners or yeoman farmers or mercantile and professional category

Etymologies

Sanskrit vaiśyaḥ, settler, homesteader, from viśaḥ, house; see weik-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • It happened on the morning after the festival of Mahashivaratri-the Great Night of Shiva-when, weakened by fasting and loosened by a kind of spiritual hangover, Navin revealed to Kudra that he adored horses and that during his youth had entertained the impossible dream of miraculously transcending Vaisya, the merchant caste, and ascending to Kshatriya, the warrior caste, so that he might ride.

    La insistencia de Jürgen Fauth

  • Buddha's fault was he preached a casteless society which challanged brahminical Manu Smriti-the four tier Varna System (which placed the brahmins on top of the ladder-Brahamin, Kshtriya, Vaisya and Shudra) -- As somebody said here brahmins made an attempt during British Rule to call themselves Aryans-brahmo samaj-Arya samaj were organanizations estbalished for this purpose-the British rejected this-so began India's freedom struggle-led (to give the devil its due, by brahmins).

    Why are South Indians so smart?

  • In the city there are many Vaisya elders and Sabaean8 merchants, whose houses are stately and beautiful.

    A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms

  • The park (containing the whole) was the space of ground which the (Vaisya) head Sudatta purchased by covering it with gold coins.

    A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms

  • Ghochira was the name of a Vaisya elder, or head, who presented a garden and vihara to Buddha.

    A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms

  • The Heads of the Vaisya families in them establish in the cities houses for dispensing charity and medicines.

    A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms

  • As you go out from the city by the south gate, and 1,200 paces from it, the (Vaisya) head Sudatta built a vihara, facing the south; and when the door was open, on each side of it there was a stone pillar, with the figure of a wheel on the top of that on the left, and the figure of an ox on the top of that on the right.

    A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms

  • Vaisya: The third caste of farmers and stockbreeders in the Aryan system.

    Buddha

  • If one, who is a Kshatriya or Vaisya, lives in the practice of those duties that are assigned to the Brahmana, after the manner of a Brahmana he becomes (in his next life) a Brahmana.

    The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 Books 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18

  • Kshatriya, he has to take birth in his next life as a Sudra, a Vaisya, or

    The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 Books 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18

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