[ shah-muh-niz-uh m, shey-, sham-uh- ]
/ ˈʃɑ məˌnɪz əm, ˈʃeɪ-, ˈʃæm ə- /


the animistic religion of northern Asia, embracing a belief in powerful spirits that can be influenced only by shamans.
any similar religion.


Origin of shamanism

First recorded in 1770–80; shaman + -ism

Related forms

sha·man·ist, noun, adjectivesha·man·is·tic, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for shamanism

British Dictionary definitions for shamanism


/ (ˈʃæməˌnɪzəm) /


the religion of certain peoples of northern Asia, based on the belief that the world is pervaded by good and evil spirits who can be influenced or controlled only by the shamans
any similar religion involving forms of spiritualism

Derived Forms

shamanist, noun, adjectiveshamanistic, 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