Ma·​ha·​ya·​na | \ ˌmä-hə-ˈyä-nə How to pronounce Mahayana (audio) \

Definition of Mahayana

: 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

Other Words from Mahayana

Mahayanist \ ˌmä-​hə-​ˈyä-​nist How to pronounce Mahayanist (audio) \ noun or adjective
Mahayanistic \ ˌmä-​hə-​yä-​ˈni-​stik How to pronounce Mahayanistic (audio) \ adjective

First Known Use of Mahayana

1855, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Mahayana

Sanskrit mahāyāna, literally, great vehicle

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The first known use of Mahayana was in 1855

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Cite this Entry

“Mahayana.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 January 2020.

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