medicine man


(among North American Indians and some other aboriginal peoples) a person believed to possess magical or supernatural powers; shaman.
a seller of patent medicine, especially before 1900, presenting a medicine show to attract customers.

Origin of medicine man

First recorded in 1795–1805 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for medicine man

Historical Examples of medicine man

  • He said he just wished there was an Indian medicine-man around somewhere.

  • That is to say, I am a medicine-man, or minister of the Great Spirit.

  • “But the medicine-man of the palefaces does not live in the forest,” returned the Indian.

    Brave and True

    George Manville Fenn

  • “It does not need a medicine-man to tell me that,” said Dechamp, sternly.

    The Buffalo Runners

    R.M. Ballantyne

  • Two-thirds of the methods of the shaman, the witch-doctor, the medicine-man, were psychic.

    Preventable Diseases

    Woods Hutchinson

British Dictionary definitions for medicine man

medicine man


(among certain peoples, esp North American Indians) a person believed to have supernatural powers of healing; a magician or sorcerer
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