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or mantram

[man-truh, mahn-, muhn-] /ˈmæn trə, ˈmɑn-, ˈmʌn-/
Hinduism. a word or formula, as from the Veda, chanted or sung as an incantation or prayer.
an often repeated word, formula, or phrase, often a truism:
If I hear the “less is more” mantra one more time, I'll scream.
Origin of mantra
Borrowed into English from Sanskrit around 1800-10
Related forms
mantric, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for mantra


/ˈmæntrə; ˈmʌn-/
(Hinduism) any of those parts of the Vedic literature which consist of the metrical psalms of praise
(Hinduism, Buddhism) any sacred word or syllable used as an object of concentration and embodying some aspect of spiritual power
Word Origin
C19: from Sanskrit, literally: speech, instrument of thought, from man to think
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 mantra

1808, "that part of the Vedas which contains hymns," from Sanskrit mantra-s "sacred message or text, charm, spell, counsel," literally "instrument of thought," related to manyate "thinks," from PIE root *men- "to think" (see mind (n.)). Sense of "special word used for meditation" is first recorded in English 1956.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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