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Brahmin

[brah-min]
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noun, plural Brah·min, Brah·mins.
  1. Hinduism. Brahman1(def 1).
  2. (especially in New England) a person usually from an old, respected family who, because of wealth and social position, wields considerable social, economic, and political power.
  3. a person who is intellectually or socially aloof.
adjective
  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of a Brahmin: the Brahmin attitudes of a true aristocrat.

Origin of Brahmin

First recorded in 1475–85; variant of Brahman1
Related formsBrah·min·ic [brah-min-ik] /brɑˈmɪn ɪk/, Brah·min·i·cal, adjectivenon-Brah·min·ic, adjectivenon-Brah·min·i·cal, adjectiveun-Brah·min·i·cal, adjective
Can be confusedBrahman Brahmin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for brahmins

Brahmin

noun plural -min or -mins
  1. the older spelling of Brahman (def. 1)
  2. (in the US) a highly intelligent or socially exclusive person, esp a member of one of the older New England families
  3. an intellectual or social snob
Derived FormsBrahminic or Brahminical, adjective
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

Word Origin and History for brahmins

brahmin

n.

"member of Boston's upper class," 1823, figurative use of Brahman "member of the highest priestly Hindu caste," late 15c., from Sanskrit brahmana-s, from brahman- "prayer," also "the universal soul, the Absolute," of uncertain origin. Related to Brahma.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

brahmins in Culture

Brahmins

[(brah-minz)]

The highest of the four major castes of Hinduism. Brahmins are followers of Brahma and were originally all priests.

Note

The name is often given to socially or culturally privileged classes, such as “Boston Brahmins.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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