• synonyms


[ree-in-kahr-ney-shuh n]
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  1. the belief that the soul, upon death of the body, comes back to earth in another body or form.
  2. rebirth of the soul in a new body.
  3. a new incarnation or embodiment, as of a person.
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Origin of reincarnation

First recorded in 1855–60; re- + incarnation
Related formsre·in·car·na·tion·ist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for reincarnation


  1. the belief that on the death of the body the soul transmigrates to or is born again in another body
  2. the incarnation or embodiment of a soul in a new body after it has left the old one at physical death
  3. embodiment again in a new form, as of a principle or idea
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Derived Formsreincarnationist, noun, adjective
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 reincarnation


1829, "fact of repeated incarnation," from re- "back, again" + incarnation. Meaning "a new embodiment" is from 1854.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

reincarnation in Culture


Being reborn in another body. Several religions, including Hinduism, believe that the human spirit returns to Earth in different forms again and again as it strives for perfection.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.