- (formerly) the ruler and chief monk of Tibet, believed to be a reincarnation of Avalokitesvara and sought for among newborn children after the death of the preceding Dalai Lama.
Compare Tashi Lama.
Origin of Dalai Lama
< Mongolian, equivalent to dalai ocean + lama a celibate priest
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for dalai lama
After his death, this title was given to the Dalai-Lama of Thibet.The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ
The Dalai-Lama is evidently an energetic and well-intentioned man.
Dalai-Lama, chief priest of Lamaism, reverenced as a living incarnation of deity, always present on earth in him.The Nuttall Encyclopaedia
Edited by Rev. James Wood
The present Dalai-Lama has now, at the age of twenty-one or twenty-two, attained his majority.
This could only be done by addressing themselves to the great head of their religion, the Dalai-Lama of Tibet.Narrative And Miscellaneous Papers
Thomas De Quincey
- (until 1959) the chief lama and ruler of Tibet
- born 1935, the 14th holder of this office (1940), who fled to India (1959): Nobel peace prize 1989
from Mongolian dalai ocean; see lama
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 dalai lama
literally "the Ocean Lama," from Mongolian dalai "ocean" + lama.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper