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shaman

[shah-muh n, shey-, sham-uh n]
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noun
  1. (especially among certain tribal peoples) a person who acts as intermediary between the natural and supernatural worlds, using magic to cure illness, foretell the future, control spiritual forces, etc.
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Origin of shaman

1690–1700; < German Schamane < Russian shamán, probably < Evenki šamān, samān
Related formssha·man·ic [shuh-man-ik] /ʃəˈmæn ɪk/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for shaman

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He had never forgiven the Shaman, you see, for that old story about the Corn Maiden.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • She put on her Shaman's dress and about the middle of the day the Cacique of the Sun sent for them.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • I had the power of a Shaman, though the Holder of the Heavens had not yet spoken to me.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • He was older than I, but he was also fat, and for all his Shaman's dress I was not frightened.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • Thus the Shaman planned before the start was made for Midas.

    The Trail of a Sourdough

    May Kellogg Sullivan


British Dictionary definitions for shaman

shaman

noun
  1. a priest of shamanism
  2. a medicine man of a similar religion, esp among certain tribes of North American Indians
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Derived Formsshamanic (ʃəˈmænɪk), adjective

Word Origin

C17: from Russian shaman, from Tungusian ̆saman, from Pali samana Buddhist monk, ultimately from Sanskrit śrama religious exercise
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 shaman

n.

1690s, "priest of the Ural-Altaic peoples," probably via German Schamane, from Russian sha'man, from Tungus saman, which is perhaps from Chinese sha men "Buddhist monk," from Prakrit samaya-, from Sanskrit sramana-s "Buddhist ascetic" [OED]. Related: Shamanic.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper