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[kahr-muh] /ˈkɑr mə/
Hinduism, Buddhism. action, seen as bringing upon oneself inevitable results, good or bad, either in this life or in a reincarnation: in Hinduism one of the means of reaching Brahman.
Compare bhakti (def 1), jnana.
Theosophy. the cosmic principle according to which each person is rewarded or punished in one incarnation according to that person's deeds in the previous incarnation.
fate; destiny.
the good or bad emanations felt to be generated by someone or something:
Lets get out of here. This place has bad karma.
Origin of karma
1820-30; < Sanskrit: nominative, accusative singular of karman act, deed
Related forms
karmic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for karma
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I must saturate myself with repose and with the underlying—with karma.

    Jewel Weed

    Alice Ames Winter
  • karma is the Law of the Universe, the expression of divine Will.

    Reincarnation Th. Pascal
  • And what have ye done to karma, that he is so wet and silent?

    The Bridge-Builders Rudyard Kipling
  • How can one substitute here a sameness of karma for identity of soul?

  • I soon discovered that, no matter how the wheel is turned, the karma or merit is equal.

    Hilda Wade Grant Allen
British Dictionary definitions for karma


(Hinduism, Buddhism) the principle of retributive justice determining a person's state of life and the state of his reincarnations as the effect of his past deeds
(theosophy) the doctrine of inevitable consequence
destiny or fate
Derived Forms
karmic, adjective
Word Origin
C19: from Sanskrit: action, effect, from karoti he does
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 karma

1827, in Buddhism, the sum of a person's actions in one life, which determine his form in the next; from Sanskrit karma "action, work, deed; fate," related to krnoti, Avestan kerenaoiti "makes," Old Persian kunautiy "he makes;" from PIE root *kwer- "to make, form," related to the second element in Sanskrit.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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