• synonyms


[uh-him-sah, uh-hing-]
noun Hinduism.
  1. the principle of noninjury to living beings.
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Origin of ahimsa

1870–75; < Sanskrit, equivalent to a- not, without (cognate with a-6) + hiṁsā injury, akin to hánti (he) slays, Greek phónos murder
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ahimsa

Historical Examples

  • By birth I am a Vaishnavite, and was taught Ahimsa in my childhood.

    Third class in Indian railways

    Mahatma Gandhi

  • A man cannot then practice Ahimsa and be a coward at the same time.

  • It is not written that a follower of the religion of Ahimsa (non-killing) may kill a fellow-man.

    Indian Home Rule

    M. K. Gandhi

  • The Wardha mosquitoes don't know a thing about ahimsa, 44-6 Swamiji!

    Autobiography of a YOGI

    Paramhansa Yogananda

  • It is firmly based on the Hindu idea of ahimsa, and hence avoids physical violence.

British Dictionary definitions for ahimsa


  1. (in Hindu, Buddhist, and Jainist philosophy) the law of reverence for, and nonviolence to, every form of life
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Word Origin

Sanskrit, from a- 1 + himsā injury
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

Word Origin and History for ahimsa


1875, from Sanskrit ahimsa, from a "without" + himsa "injury."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper