• synonyms


or man·tram

[man-truh, mahn-, muhn-]
  1. Hinduism. a word or formula, as from the Veda, chanted or sung as an incantation or prayer.
  2. an often repeated word, formula, or phrase, often a truism: If I hear the “less is more” mantra one more time, I'll scream.
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Origin of mantra

Borrowed into English from Sanskrit around 1800–10
Related formsman·tric, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mantram

Historical Examples

  • Then their hands were untied, and the Brahman mumbled a mantram.

    From the Caves and Jungles of Hindostan

    Helena Pretrovna Blavatsky

  • The mantram should be repeated eight hundred times for seven nights.

  • The mantram is usually drawn with treble lines, one black, one yellow, and one white.

  • This mantram should be repeated sixteen times, with bhasmam thrown on the body of the patient.

  • Then chant the Sakti mantram 101 times, and mutter the mantram to give life at the bottom.

British Dictionary definitions for mantram


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

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 mantram



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper