noun \ˈdər-vish\

: a member of a Muslim religious group that is known for its customs including a fast spinning dance that is done as part of worship

Full Definition of DERVISH

:  a member of a Muslim religious order noted for devotional exercises (as bodily movements leading to a trance)
:  one that whirls or dances with or as if with the abandonment of a dervish

Origin of DERVISH

Turkish derviş, literally, beggar, from Persian darvīsh
First Known Use: 1585

Other Religion (Eastern and Other) Terms

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


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In Islam, a member of a Sufi fraternity. These mystics stressed emotional aspects of devotion through ecstatic trances, dancing, and whirling. Dervishes can be either resident in the community or lay members; wandering or mendicant dervishes are called fakirs and are often regarded as holy men who possess miraculous powers. Though viewed as unorthodox and extreme by most Muslims, the movement has endured to the present. See also Sufism.


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