[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 atman

Contemporary Examples of atman

  • One of the key ingredients of Tantra is the discovery of atman, or true self.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Tantric Sex in Avatar

    Asra Q. Nomani

    March 4, 2010

Historical Examples of atman

  • For whom else were offerings to be made, who else was to be worshipped but Him, the only one, the Atman?


    Herman Hesse

  • Was not Atman in him, did not the pristine source spring from his heart?


    Herman Hesse

  • No longer, I want to begin my thoughts and my life with Atman and with the suffering of the world.


    Herman Hesse

  • Atman means "breathing;" paramatman "the highest breathing."

  • This one essence or Self (Atman) permeates the whole Universe.

    Indian Myth and Legend

    Donald Alexander Mackenzie

British Dictionary definitions for atman


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 atman

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