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mantra

or mantram

[man-truh, mahn-, muhn-] /ˈmæn trə, ˈmɑn-, ˈmʌn-/
noun
1.
Hinduism. a word or formula, as from the Veda, chanted or sung as an incantation or prayer.
2.
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
1800-1810
Borrowed into English from Sanskrit around 1800-10
Related forms
mantric, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for mantra
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A spell or mantra must have accompanied the tying, but this I was not privileged to learn.

    Beast and Man in India

    John Lockwood Kipling
  • Occasionally a mantra is infused with high religious fervour.

    Indian Myth and Legend Donald Alexander Mackenzie
  • He repeated a mantra automatically, for his thoughts were elsewhere.

    Caravans By Night Harry Hervey
  • Hence it is called the mantra Sdhan, to distinguish it from other sorts of Sdhans.

    Phallic Miscellanies Hargrave Jennings
  • But how shall I know that the mantra which I have learned is equally efficacious?

    Folk-Tales of Bengal Lal Behari Day
British Dictionary definitions for mantra

mantra

/ˈmæntrə; ˈmʌn-/
noun
1.
(Hinduism) any of those parts of the Vedic literature which consist of the metrical psalms of praise
2.
(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
n.

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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8
10
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