1. Hinduism. a collection of aphorisms relating to some aspect of the conduct of life.
  2. Pali sut·ta [soo t-uh] /ˈsʊt ə/. Buddhism. any of the sermons of Buddha.
  3. one of the approximately 4000 rules or aphorisms that constitute Panini's grammar of Sanskrit.

Origin of sutra

First recorded in 1795–1805, sutra is from the Sanskrit word sūtra Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sutta

Historical Examples of sutta

British Dictionary definitions for sutta


  1. Hinduism Sanskrit sayings or collections of sayings on Vedic doctrine dating from about 200 ad onwards
  2. (modifier) Hinduism
    1. of or relating to the last of the Vedic literary periods, from about 500 to 100 bcthe sutra period
    2. of or relating to the sutras or compilations of sutras of about 200 ad onwards
  3. Buddhism collections of dialogues and discourses of classic Mahayana Buddhism dating from the 2nd to the 6th centuries a.d

Word Origin for sutra

C19: from Sanskrit: list of rules
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 sutta



"series of aphorisms," 1801, from Sanskrit sutram "rule," literally "string, thread" (as a measure of straightness), from sivyati "sew;" cognate with Latin suere "to sew" (see sew). Applied to rules of grammar, law, philosophy, etc., along with their commentaries.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper