Dalai Lama

[ dah-lahy lah-muh ]
/ ˈdɑ laɪ ˈlɑ mə /


(formerly) the ruler and chief monk of Tibet, believed to be a reincarnation of Avalokitesvara and sought for among newborn children after the death of the preceding Dalai Lama.
Compare Tashi Lama.

Origin of Dalai Lama

< Mongolian, equivalent to dalai ocean + lama a celibate priest
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for dalai lama

Dalai Lama

/ (ˈdælaɪ ˈlɑːmə) /


(until 1959) the chief lama and ruler of Tibet
born 1935, the 14th holder of this office (1940), who fled to India (1959): Nobel peace prize 1989

Word Origin for Dalai Lama

from Mongolian dalai ocean; see lama
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