or man·tram

[ man-truh, mahn-, muhn- ]
/ ˈmæn trə, ˈmɑn-, ˈmʌn- /


Hinduism. a word or formula, as from the Veda, chanted or sung as an incantation or prayer.
an often repeated word, formula, or phrase, often a truism: If I hear the “less is more” mantra one more time, I'll scream.

Nearby words

  1. mantlet,
  2. mantletree,
  3. mantling,
  4. mantoux test,
  5. mantova,
  6. mantrap,
  7. mantua,
  8. manu,
  9. manu samoa,
  10. manua islands

Origin of mantra

Borrowed into English from Sanskrit around 1800–10

Related formsman·tric, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mantra

British Dictionary definitions for mantra


/ (ˈmæntrə, ˈmʌn-) /


Hinduism any of those parts of the Vedic literature which consist of the metrical psalms of praise
Hinduism Buddhism any sacred word or syllable used as an object of concentration and embodying some aspect of spiritual power

Word Origin for mantra

C19: from Sanskrit, literally: speech, instrument of thought, from man to think

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 mantra



1808, "that part of the Vedas which contains hymns," from Sanskrit mantra-s "sacred message or text, charm, spell, counsel," literally "instrument of thought," related to manyate "thinks," from PIE root *men- "to think" (see mind (n.)). Sense of "special word used for meditation" is first recorded in English 1956.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper