[shah-muh-niz-uh m, shey-, sham-uh-]


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 formssha·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 shamanistic

Contemporary Examples of shamanistic

  • Greenspan cultivated an oracular air, his utterances vague and technocratic yet hinting at shamanistic powers.

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    Bernanke's Arrogance Problem

    Zachary Karabell

    December 6, 2010

  • In 1980 he added Trois Villes Saintes, a barely readable exercise in shamanistic geography.

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    If He Had to be French...

    Peter Stothard

    October 9, 2008

Historical Examples of shamanistic

British Dictionary definitions for shamanistic



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 Formsshamanist, 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

Word Origin and History for shamanistic



1780, from shaman + -ism. Related: Shamanistic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper