noun \ˈa-və-ˌtär\

Hinduism : the human or animal form of a Hindu god on earth

: someone who represents a type of person, an idea, or a quality

computers : a small picture that represents a computer user in a game, on the Internet, etc.

Full Definition of AVATAR

:  the incarnation of a Hindu deity (as Vishnu)
a :  an incarnation in human form
b :  an embodiment (as of a concept or philosophy) often in a person
:  a variant phase or version of a continuing basic entity
:  an electronic image that represents and is manipulated by a computer user (as in a computer game)

Examples of AVATAR

  1. She has come to be regarded as an avatar of charity and concern for the poor.
  2. She chose a penguin as her personal avatar in the chat room.

Origin of AVATAR

Sanskrit avatāraḥ descent, from avatarati he descends, from ava- away + tarati he crosses over — more at ukase, through
First Known Use: 1784

Other Religion (Eastern and Other) Terms

Zen, antinomian, gnosticism, illuminati, ineffable, karma, koan, mantra


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In Hinduism, the incarnation of a deity in human or animal form to counteract an evil in the world. It usually refers to 10 appearances of Vishnu, including an incarnation as the Buddha Gautama and Kalkin (the incarnation yet to come). The doctrine appears in the Bhagavadgita in the words of Lord Krishna to Arjuna: “Whenever there is a decline of righteousness and rise of unrighteousness then I send forth Myself.”


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