avatar

[ av-uh-tahr, av-uh-tahr ]
/ ˈæv əˌtɑr, ˌæv əˈtɑr /

noun

Hindu Mythology. the descent of a deity to the earth in an incarnate form or some manifest shape; the incarnation of a god.
an embodiment or personification, as of a principle, attitude, or view of life.
Digital Technology. a static or moving image or other graphic representation that acts as a proxy for a person or is associated with a specific digital account or identity, as on the internet: My boyfriend always chooses sexy female warriors as his video game avatars.
Also called avatar mouse, mouse avatar . a mouse that is implanted with cells or tissue freshly extracted from a human being, as to test drug therapies for an individual patient or to study a disease process: Researchers transplanted samples of the patient’s tumor into specially bred avatars.
(in science fiction) a hybrid creature, composed of human and alien DNA and remotely controlled by the mind of a genetically matched human being.

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Origin of avatar

First recorded in 1775–85; from Sanskrit avatāra “a passing down, descent,” equivalent to ava “down” + -tāra “a passing over,” akin to Latin trāns “across, over,” English through and thorough, German durch “through”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for avatar

British Dictionary definitions for avatar

avatar
/ (ˈævəˌtɑː) /

noun

Hinduism the manifestation of a deity, notably Vishnu, in human, superhuman, or animal form
a visible manifestation or embodiment of an abstract concept; archetype
a movable image that represents a person in a virtual reality environment or in cyberspace

Word Origin for avatar

C18: from Sanskrit avatāra a going down, from avatarati he descends, from ava down + tarati he passes over
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

Cultural definitions for avatar

avatar
[ (av-uh-tahr) ]

In Hinduism, a god made visibly present, especially in a human form. The Buddha is considered an avatar of the god Vishnu.

notes for avatar

By extension, an “avatar” is any new embodiment of an old idea.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.