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[oo-pan-i-shad, oo-pah-ni-shahd] /uˈpæn ɪˌʃæd, uˈpɑ nɪˌʃɑd/
noun, Hinduism.
any of a class of speculative prose treatises composed between the 8th and 6th centuries b.c. and first written a.d. c1300: they represent a philosophical development beyond the Vedas, having as their principal message the unity of Brahman and Atman.
Origin of Upanishad
< Sanskrit upaniṣad, equivalent to upa near + ni- down + -ṣad, sandhi variant of sad- sit1
Related forms
Upanishadic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for upanishads


/uːˈpʌnɪʃəd; -ˌʃæd; juː-/
(Hinduism) any of a class of the Sanskrit sacred books probably composed between 400 and 200 bc and embodying the mystical and esoteric doctrines of ancient Hindu philosophy
Derived Forms
Upanishadic, adjective
Word Origin
C19: from Sanskrit upanisad a sitting down near something, from upa near to + ni down + sīdati he sits
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 upanishads


class of treatises in Sanskrit literature, 1805, from Sanskrit upa-nishad, literally "a sitting down beside," from upa "near to" (see up) + ni-shad "to sit or lie down."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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upanishads in Culture
Upanishads [(ooh-pah-nuh-shahdz, ooh-pan-uh-shadz)]

A group of writings sacred in Hinduism concerning the relations of humans, God, and the universe.

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