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


noun su·tra \ˈsü-trə\

Definition of sutra

  1. 1 :  a precept summarizing Vedic teaching; also :  a collection of these precepts

  2. 2 :  one of the discourses of the Buddha that constitute the basic text of Buddhist scripture

Origin and Etymology of sutra

Sanskrit sūtra precept, literally, thread; akin to Latin suere to sew — more at sew

First Known Use: 1801

Learn More about sutra

Seen and Heard

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