Definitions

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

  • noun A person venerated for spirituality and high-mindedness.
  • noun Used as a title of respect for such a person.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An alleged adept in Brahmanism: a name applied by modern European and A merican theosophists to certain imaginary persons who have acquired, by ascetic or ‘astral’ means, preternatural powers, and are asserted to exist in or near India. The term so used is modern and is due to European manipulation. No beings so named and endowed have any ancient recognition in Indian literature.
  • noun An adept in Brahmanism: a name recently applied by “theosophists” to certain imaginary beings, of preternatural powers, asserted to exist in or near India.

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

  • noun (Theosophy) One of a class of sages, or “adepts,” reputed to have knowledge and powers of a higher order than those of ordinary men.

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

  • noun An epithet granted in India and Tibet to people thought to have great knowledge and love of humanity

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

  • noun (Hinduism) term of respect for a brahmin sage

Etymologies

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

[Sanskrit mahātmā : mahā-, great; see meg- in Indo-European roots + ātmā, life, spirit.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Sanskrit, महात्मा (mahātman) महा (mahā) + आत्मन (ātman) meaning great spirit

Examples

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