Definitions

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

  • n. A member of an order of priests in ancient Gaul and Britain who appear in Welsh and Irish legend as prophets and sorcerers.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. One of an order of priests among certain groups of Celts before the adoption of Christianity.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of an order of priests which in ancient times existed among certain branches of the Celtic race, especially among the Gauls and Britons.
  • n. A member of a social and benevolent order, founded in London in 1781, and professedly based on the traditions of the ancient Druids. Lodges or groves of the society are established in other countries.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One of an order of priests or ministers of religion among the ancient Celts of Gaul, Britain, and Ireland.
  • n. A member of a society called the United Ancient Order of Druids, founded in London in 1781, for the mutual benefit of the members, and now counting numerous lodges, called groves, in America, Australia, Germany, etc.
  • n. In entomology, a kind of saw-fly, a hyme-nopterous insect of the family Tenthredinidœ.

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

  • n. a pre-Christian priest among the Celts of ancient Gaul and Britain and Ireland

Etymologies

From Latin druidēs, druids, of Celtic origin; see deru- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
The earliest record of the term is reported in Greek as Δρυΐδαι (druidai) (plural), cited in Diogenes Laertius in the 3rd century CE. The native Celtic word for "druid" is first attested in Latin texts as druides (plural) and other texts also employ the form druidae (akin to the Greek form). It is understood that the Latin form is a borrowing from Gaulish. the word is cognate with the later insular Celtic words, Old Irish druí ("druid, sorcerer") and early Welsh dryw ("seer"). The proto-Celtic word may be *dru-wid-s (literally, "oak-knower"), from Proto-Indo-European *dóru (“tree”) and *weyd- (“to see”). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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