• synonyms


[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.
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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)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for orenda

Historical Examples

  • The orenda of the rabbit controls the snow and fixes the depth to which it will fall.

    Darwin and Modern Science

    A.C. Seward and Others

  • When a storm is brewing the magician is said to be making its orenda.

    Darwin and Modern Science

    A.C. Seward and Others

  • A sorcerer or shaman has orenda, but as much would be said of a man succeeding in his enterprises.

  • At bottom, there is nothing in the world which does not have its quota of orenda; but the quantities vary.

  • If an animal escapes from a hunter who is pursuing it, it is because the orenda of the former was the more powerful.