Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[lah-muh] /ˈlɑ mə/
a priest or monk in Lamaism.
Origin of lama
1645-55; < Tibetan lama (spelling bla ma) literally, superior one (in Tibetan applied only to monks of high rank)
Can be confused
lama, llama. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for lama
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I asked my interpreter not to lose a single word of what the lama told me.

  • Our religion is called the lamaic one—from the word 'lama,' superior.

  • After a while a lama came in with a smiling face and said he had good news to give me.

    In the Forbidden Land Arnold Henry Savage Landor
  • They have a great number of monks and priests, each of whom is called a lama.

    From Pole to Pole

    Sven Anders Hedin
  • The lama shrunk up inside his coat and looked at me with fear.

    Beasts, Men and Gods Ferdinand Ossendowski
  • The lama was silent and afterwards, as though answering my thoughts, continued.

    Beasts, Men and Gods Ferdinand Ossendowski
  • I suggested that either one of the Coe lads or lama should go with him, to which he said "Bosh!"

    The Call Of The South Louis Becke
British Dictionary definitions for lama


a priest or monk of Lamaism
Word Origin
C17: from Tibetan blama
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for lama

"Buddhist priest of Mongolia or Tibet," 1650s, from Tibetan blama "chief, high priest," with silent b-. Related: Lamasery.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
lama in Culture
lama [(lah-muh)]

In the Buddhism of Tibet, a monk or priest. The chief of the lamas is the Dalai Lama.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for lama

Word Value for lama

Scrabble Words With Friends