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[sher-puh, shur-]
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noun, plural Sher·pas, (especially collectively) Sher·pa.
  1. a member of a people of Tibetan stock living in the Nepalese Himalayas, who often serve as porters on mountain-climbing expeditions.
  2. (sometimes lowercase) an expert chosen by a chief executive to assist in preparations for a summit meeting.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Contemporary Examples

British Dictionary definitions for sherpa


  1. an official who makes preparations for or assists a government representative or important delegate at a summit meeting or conference
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Word Origin

C20: from Sherpa, a member of a people noted for providing assistance to mountaineers: from a pun on the different senses of summit


noun plural -pas or -pa
  1. a member of a people of Mongolian origin living on the southern slopes of the Himalayas in Nepal, noted as mountaineers
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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 sherpa


1847, from Tibetan, literally "dweller in an eastern country."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper