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[boo-diz-uh m, boo d-iz-] /ˈbu dɪz əm, ˈbʊd ɪz-/
a religion, originated in India by Buddha (Gautama) and later spreading to China, Burma, Japan, Tibet, and parts of southeast Asia, holding that life is full of suffering caused by desire and that the way to end this suffering is through enlightenment that enables one to halt the endless sequence of births and deaths to which one is otherwise subject.
Origin of Buddhism
Related forms
Buddhist, noun, adjective
Buddhistic, Buddhistical, adjective
Buddhistically, adverb
non-Buddhist, noun, adjective
non-Buddhistic, adjective
pre-Buddhist, adjective
pro-Buddhist, noun, adjective
pseudo-Buddhist, adjective, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Buddhism
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But if this were all, then would Buddhism be but a repetition of the commonplaces of all religions, of all philosophies.

    The Soul of a People H. Fielding
  • Buddhism has been one of the great missionary religions of the world.

    A Tour of the Missions Augustus Hopkins Strong
  • In the first rule he advised his son to continue to recognize Buddhism as the state religion.

    Korean Buddhism Frederick Starr
  • They were as exotic to my sister's husband as the ethics of esoteric Buddhism.

    The Message Alec John Dawson
  • Has Buddhism, in its essential principles and spirit, more of truth and good than of error and evil?

    Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Debate Index Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
British Dictionary definitions for Buddhism


a religious teaching propagated by the Buddha and his followers, which declares that by destroying greed, hatred, and delusion, which are the causes of all suffering, man can attain perfect enlightenment See nirvana
Derived Forms
Buddhist, noun, 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
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Word Origin and History for Buddhism

1801, from Buddha + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Buddhism in Culture
Buddhism [(booh-diz-uhm, bood-iz-uhm)]

A reli-gion, founded by the Buddha, that emphasizes physical and spiritual discipline as a means of liberation from the physical world. The goal for the Buddhist is to attain nirvana, a state of complete peace in which one is free from the distractions of desire and self-consciousness. Buddhists are found in the greatest numbers in eastern Asia.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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