[ vish-noo ]

  1. (in later Hinduism) “the Preserver,” the second member of the Trimurti, along with Brahma the Creator and Shiva the Destroyer.

  2. (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.

  1. “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

Other words from Vishnu

  • Vish·nu·ism, noun

Words Nearby Vishnu Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use Vishnu in a sentence

  • She say Vishnu lay curse on us, dead men come out of graves, be wolves, be tigers—menjelma kramat—follow us everywhere!

    Cursed | George Allan England

British Dictionary definitions for Vishnu


/ (ˈvɪʃnuː) /

  1. 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

Origin of Vishnu

C17: from Sanskrit Viṣṇu, literally: the one who works everywhere

Derived forms of Vishnu

  • Vishnuism, noun

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

Cultural definitions for Vishnu


[ (vish-nooh) ]

A deity of Hinduism, known as the Preserver. According to the Hindus, he has appeared as Krishna and as the Buddha.

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.