[aht-muh n]
noun Hinduism.
  1. the principle of life.
  2. the individual self, known after enlightenment to be identical with Brahman.
  3. (initial capital letter) the World Soul, from which all individual souls derive, and to which they return as the supreme goal of existence.
Also at·ma [aht-muh] /ˈɑt mə/.

Origin of atman

First recorded in 1775–85, atman is from the Sanskrit word ātman breath, self Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for atma

Historical Examples of atma

  • Are they going to start something now that will get Atma in jail?


    Susan Glaspell

  • In Sanscrit that eternal part is called by many names, but the best seems that used in this passage, Atma.

  • In a frenzy I broke my way through the attendants, and rushed through hall and corridor to my Atma's chamber.

British Dictionary definitions for atma


noun Hinduism
  1. the personal soul or self; the thinking principle as manifested in consciousness
  2. Brahman considered as the Universal Soul, the great Self or Person that dwells in the entire created order

Word Origin for atman

from Sanskrit ātman breath; compare Old High German ātum breath
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 atma



1785, from Sanskrit atma "essence, breath, soul," from PIE *etmen "breath" (a root found in Sanskrit and Germanic, cf. Old English æðm, Dutch adem, Old High German atum "breath," Old English eþian, Dutch ademen "to breathe").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper