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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 karmic
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Though you have not reached my own karmic height, you may Aspire.

    The Gay Gnani of Gingalee Florence Huntley
  • I am thinking also of you, and of the karmic consequences of this Act.

    The Gay Gnani of Gingalee Florence Huntley
  • He saw that he must have completed one of those vast karmic cycles.

    Bunker Bean

    Harry Leon Wilson
  • All too plainly Breede's karmic future promised little of interest.

    Bunker Bean

    Harry Leon Wilson
  • So fate went on weaving its web, and the karmic links of anterior lives reached out, binding our destiny.

    Edgar Saltus: The Man

    Marie Saltus
British Dictionary definitions for karmic


(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 karmic

1883, from karma + -ic.



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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