[ suh m-sahr-uh ]
/ səmˈsɑr ə /


Buddhism. the process of coming into existence as a differentiated, mortal creature.Compare nirvana(def 1).
Hinduism. the endless series of births, deaths, and rebirths to which all beings are subject.Compare nirvana(def 2).

Nearby words

  1. sampo,
  2. sampras,
  3. sampras, pete,
  4. sampson,
  5. sampson, william thomas,
  6. samshu,
  7. samson,
  8. samson post,
  9. samsonian,
  10. samsun

Origin of samsara

First recorded in 1885–90, samsara is from the Sanskrit word samsāra literally, running together Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for samsara

British Dictionary definitions for samsara


/ (səmˈsɑːrə) /


Hinduism the endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth
Buddhism the transmigration or rebirth of a person

Word Origin for samsara

Sanskrit, literally: a passing through, from sam altogether + sarati it runs

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 samsara



"endless cycle of death and rebirth, transmigration of souls," 1886, from Sanskrit samsara "a wandering through," from sam-, prefix denoting completeness (from the root of same), + sr- "to run, glide," from PIE root *ser- (2) "to flow" (see serum).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper