- earlier of the two great schools of Buddhism, still prevalent in Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, and Cambodia, emphasizing personal salvation through one's own efforts.
Origin of Hinayana
1865–70; < Sanskrit, equivalent to hīna lesser, inferior + yāna vehicle
Also called Theravada.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for hinayana
In this also there were more than four thousand monks, all students of the hinayana.
There are two monasteries in it, the inmates of which are students of the hinayana.
The people of the country were mostly students of the hinayana.
Now, as of old, there is a company of monks there, most of whom are students of the hinayana.
The longest recension is said to contain a polemic against the Hinayana.Hinduism And Buddhism, Volume II. (of 3)
- any of various early forms of Buddhism
- (as modifier)Hinayana Buddhism
from Sanskrit hīnayāna, from hīna lesser + yāna vehicle