[ lah-muh ]
/ ˈlɑ mə /


a priest or monk in Lamaism.

Nearby words

  1. lalochezia,
  2. lalopathy,
  3. laloplegia,
  4. lam,
  5. lam.,
  6. lamaism,
  7. lamar,
  8. lamar, lucius quintus cincinnatus,
  9. lamarck,
  10. lamarckian

Origin of lama

1645–55; < Tibetan lama (spelling bla ma) literally, superior one (in Tibetan applied only to monks of high rank)

Can be confusedlama llama Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lama

British Dictionary definitions for lama


/ (ˈlɑːmə) /


a priest or monk of Lamaism

Word Origin for lama

C17: from Tibetan blama

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 lama



"Buddhist priest of Mongolia or Tibet," 1650s, from Tibetan blama "chief, high priest," with silent b-. Related: Lamasery.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for lama


[ (lah-muh) ]

In the Buddhism of Tibet, a monk or priest. The chief of the lamas is the Dalai Lama.

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.