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[uh-him-sah, uh-hing-] /əˈhɪm sɑ, əˈhɪŋ-/
noun, Hinduism.
the principle of noninjury to living beings.
Origin of ahimsa
1870-75; < Sanskrit, equivalent to a- not, without (cognate with a-6) + hiṁsā injury, akin to hánti (he) slays, Greek phónos murder Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for ahimsa
Historical Examples
  • By birth I am a Vaishnavite, and was taught ahimsa in my childhood.

  • A man cannot then practice ahimsa and be a coward at the same time.

  • It is not written that a follower of the religion of ahimsa (non-killing) may kill a fellow-man.

    Indian Home Rule M. K. Gandhi
  • The Wardha mosquitoes don't know a thing about ahimsa, 44-6 Swamiji!

    Autobiography of a YOGI Paramhansa Yogananda
  • It is firmly based on the Hindu idea of ahimsa, and hence avoids physical violence.

    Introduction to Non-Violence Theodore Paullin
  • ahimsa requires deliberate self-suffering, not a deliberate injuring of the supposed wrong-doer.

  • In its positive form, ahimsa means the largest love, the greatest charity.

  • ahimsa truly understood is in my humble opinion a panacea for all evils mundane and extra-mundane.

  • But Mr. Gandhi, with all his visionary idealism, was letting loose dangerous forces which recked naught of ahimsa.

    India, Old and New Sir Valentine Chirol
  • He hated no one, for that would be a negation of the great principle of ahimsa, on which he expatiated with immense earnestness.

    India, Old and New Sir Valentine Chirol
British Dictionary definitions for ahimsa


(in Hindu, Buddhist, and Jainist philosophy) the law of reverence for, and nonviolence to, every form of life
Word Origin
Sanskrit, from a-1 + himsā injury
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ahimsa

1875, from Sanskrit ahimsa, from a "without" + himsa "injury."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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