Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

Mahayana

play
noun Ma·ha·ya·na \ˌmä-hə-ˈyä-nə\

Definition of Mahayana

  1. :  a liberal and theistic branch of Buddhism comprising sects chiefly in China and Japan, recognizing a large body of scripture in addition to the Pali canon, and teaching social concern and universal salvation — compare theravada

Mahayanist

play \-ˈyä-nist\ noun or adjective

Mahayanistic

play \-yä-ˈnis-tik\ adjective


Origin and Etymology of mahayana

Sanskrit mahāyāna, literally, great vehicle


First Known Use: 1855


Learn More about mahayana


Seen and Heard

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