[ shah-muh n, shey-, sham-uh n ]
/ ˈʃɑ mən, ˈʃeɪ-, ˈʃæm ən /


(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.


Origin of shaman

1690–1700; < German Schamane < Russian shamán, probably < Evenki šamān, samān

Related forms

sha·man·ic [shuh-man-ik] /ʃəˈmæn ɪk/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for shaman

British Dictionary definitions for shaman


/ (ˈʃæmən) /


a priest of shamanism
a medicine man of a similar religion, esp among certain tribes of North American Indians

Derived Forms

shamanic (ʃəˈmænɪk), adjective

Word Origin for shaman

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