Definitions

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

  • noun A member of certain traditional societies, especially of northern Asia and of North and South America, who acts as a medium between the visible world and an invisible spirit world and who practices magic or sorcery for purposes of healing, divination, and control over natural events.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A professor or priest of Shamanism; a wizard or conjurer among those who profess Shamanism.
  • Relating to Shamanism.

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

  • noun A priest of Shamanism; a wizard among the Shamanists.

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

  • noun A traditional (prescientific) faith healer.
  • noun A member of certain tribal societies who acts as a religious medium between the concrete and spirit worlds.

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

  • noun in societies practicing shamanism: one acting as a medium between the visible and spirit worlds; practices sorcery for healing or divination

Etymologies

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

[Russian, from Evenki šaman, Buddhist monk, shaman, perhaps from Tocharian B ṣamāne, monk, from Prakrit (dialect of documents from the ancient city of Niya in the Taklimakan) ṣamana, from Sanskrit śramaṇaḥ, from śramaḥ, religious exercise, from śramati, he toils, practices austerity.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From German Schamane, from Russian шаман (šamán), from Evenki шаман (šamán), itself possibly from Chinese sha men, 'Buddhist monk', from Pali समन (samana), from Sanskrit श्रमण (śramaṇá, "ascetic, monk, devotee"), from श्रम (śráma, "fatigue, weariness, exhaustion; labor, toil etc.").

Examples

Comments

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  • This is one of those words where I thought I might find a fascinating etymology, and didn't.

    November 28, 2014