[shah-muh n, shey-, sham-uh n]


(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.

Nearby words

  1. shalosh seudoth,
  2. shalt,
  3. shalwar,
  4. sham,
  5. shama,
  6. shamanic,
  7. shamanism,
  8. shamash,
  9. shamateur,
  10. shamba

Origin of shaman

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

Related formssha·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 shamanic

British Dictionary definitions for shamanic



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

Word Origin and History for shamanic



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper