- (in later Hinduism) “the Preserver,” the second member of the Trimurti, along with Brahma the Creator and Shiva the Destroyer.
- (in popular Hinduism) a deity believed to have descended from heaven to earth in several incarnations, or avatars, varying in number from nine to twenty-two, but always including animals. His most important human incarnation is the Krishna of the Bhagavad-Gita.
- “the Pervader,” one of a half-dozen solar deities in the Rig-Veda, daily traversing the sky in three strides, morning, afternoon, and night.
Origin of Vishnu
From the Sanskrit word viṣṇu
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for vishnu
I noticed that my three main characters, Sarita, Karun and Jaz, formed a trinity just like Vishnu, Shiva, and Devi.A Mathematically Impossible Novel: Manil Suri Explains “The City of Devi”
March 15, 2013
And Brahma gave to this word the name, "Vishnu," that is to say, "he who preserves."The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ
Vishnu, the active, traverses the universe with three strides.History of Religion
Name of Vishnu in his aspect of slayer of the proud demon, Madhu.My Reminiscences
Thus the Vishnu Swamis of the world have invested the subject with some confusion.
Amongst them, I need hardly say, were the sage Vishnu Swami and his four sons.
- Hinduism the Pervader or Sustainer: originally a solar deity occupying a secondary place in the Hindu pantheon; later one of the three chief gods, the second member of the Trimurti; and, later still, the saviour appearing in many incarnations
C17: from Sanskrit Viṣṇu, literally: the one who works everywhere
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 vishnu
name of a principal Hindu deity, 1630s, from Sanskrit Vishnu, probably from root vish- and meaning "all-pervader" or "worker."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.