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noun av·a·tar \ˈa-və-ˌtär\

Simple Definition of avatar

  • 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.

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of avatar

  1. 1 :  the incarnation of a Hindu deity (as Vishnu)

  2. 2 a :  an incarnation in human form b :  an embodiment (as of a concept or philosophy) often in a person

  3. 3 :  a variant phase or version of a continuing basic entity

  4. 4 :  an electronic image that represents and is manipulated by a computer user (as in a computer game)

Examples of avatar in a sentence

  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.

Did You Know?

Avatar derives from a Sanskrit word meaning "descent," and when it first appeared in English in the late 18th century, it referred to the descent of a deity to the earth - typically, the incarnation in earthly form of Vishnu or another Hindu deity. It later came to refer to any incarnation in human form, and then to any embodiment (such as that of a concept or philosophy), whether or not in the form a person. In the age of technology, "avatar" has developed another sense - it can now be used for the image that a person chooses as his or her "embodiment" in an electronic medium.

Origin and Etymology 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

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up avatar? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


mysterious, holy, or spiritual

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