- (in Hawaii) a native medicine man or priest.
Origin of kahuna
Examples from the Web for kahuna
The death of Kohaokalani is attributed chiefly to the Kahuna.
Pakaa was one of the favorites of Umi, and Lono was his kahuna.
The kahuna lapaau (medical priest) then said, “Open your mouth.”Hawaiian Folk Tales
Like the incantation of the sorcerer, the kahuna naan, it meant death to the eulogized one.Unwritten Literature of Hawaii
Nathaniel Bright Emerson
When a Kanaka has endured an injury he hires a kahuna to pray his enemy to death.Myths & Legends of our New Possessions & Protectorate
Charles M. Skinner
Word Origin and History for kahuna
1886, in a report in English by the Hawaiian government, which defines the word as "doctor and sorcerer," from Hawaiian, where it was applied as well to priests and navigators. In surfer slang, for "a god of surfing," it is attested from 1962 (but big kahuna in same sense is said to date from 1950s.