Definitions

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

  • noun A supernatural force believed to dwell in a person or sacred object.
  • noun Power; authority.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Power in general; authority; influence.
  • noun Magical or supernatural power.
  • noun The Chinese characters as used by the Japanese.

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

  • noun A form of supernatural energy in Polynesian religion that inheres in things or people.
  • noun gaming Magical power.
  • noun Alternative spelling of manna.

Etymologies

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

[Maori, integrity, charisma, prestige.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From a Polynesian source such as Maori mana, ultimately from Proto-Polynesian *mana.

Examples

Comments

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  • The concept of an impersonal force or quality that resides in people, animals, and inanimate objects. The concept is common to many Oceanic languages, including Melanesian, Polynesian, and Micronesian. In anthropological discourse, mana as a generalized concept has attained a significant amount of interest, often understood as a precursor to formal religion. It has commonly been interpreted as "the stuff of which magic is formed", as well as the substance of which souls are made. (Wikipedia)

    May 23, 2008