Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

Zen

[zen]
noun
  1. Chinese Ch'an. Buddhism. a Mahayana movement, introduced into China in the 6th century a.d. and into Japan in the 12th century, that emphasizes enlightenment for the student by the most direct possible means, accepting formal studies and observances only when they form part of such means.Compare koan, mondo1.
  2. the discipline and practice of this sect.
Show More

Origin of Zen

< Japanese < Middle Chinese, equivalent to Chinese chán, transliteration of Pali jhāna < Sanskrit dhyāna
Also called Zen Buddhism.
Related formsZen·ic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for zenic

Zen

noun
  1. a Japanese school, of 12th-century Chinese origin, teaching that contemplation of one's essential nature to the exclusion of all else is the only way of achieving pure enlightenment
  2. (modifier) of or relating to this schoolZen Buddhism
Show More
Derived FormsZenic, adjectiveZenist, noun

Word Origin

from Japanese, from Chinese ch'an religious meditation, from Pali jhāna, from Sanskrit dhyāna
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 zenic

Zen

school of Mahayana Buddhism, 1727, from Japanese, from Chinese ch'an, ultimately from Sanskrit dhyana "thought, meditation," from PIE root *dhya "to see, contemplate."

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

zenic in Culture

Zen

An approach to religion, arising from Buddhism, that seeks religious enlightenment by meditation in which there is no consciousness of self.

Show More

Note

Deliberately irrational statements are sometimes used in Zen to jar persons into realizing the limits of the common uses of the intellect. One well-known example is, “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”
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.