[ aw-ren-duh, oh-ren- ]

  1. a supernatural force believed by the Iroquois Indians to be present, in varying degrees, in all objects or persons, and to be the spiritual force by which human accomplishment is attained or accounted for.

Origin of orenda

1902; coined by U.S. ethnologist J.N.B. Hewitt from the supposed Huron cognate of Mohawk orę́˙naʔ inherent power (akin to karę́˙naʔ song; compare Seneca oęnǫʔ power, song with power, kaęnǫʔ song)

Words Nearby orenda

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use orenda in a sentence

  • The orenda girls turned instinctively toward Isagani, who smiled silently.

    The Reign of Greed | Jose Rizal
  • The Iroquoian tribes designate this mysterious force orenda.

    Comparative Religion | J. Estlin Carpenter
  • A man who hunts well has much and good orenda; the shy bird who escapes his snares has a fine orenda.

    Darwin and Modern Science | A.C. Seward and Others
  • This notion of orenda, a sort of pan-vitalism, is more fluid than animism, and probably precedes it.

    Darwin and Modern Science | A.C. Seward and Others
  • Like orenda it manifests itself in noises, but specially mysterious ones, it is mana that is rustling in the trees.

    Darwin and Modern Science | A.C. Seward and Others