achar·​ya | \ ä-ˈchär-yə \
plural -s

Definition of acharya

1 : a Hindu religious teacher : one versed in the sacred writings of the Hindus
2 : any illustrious or learned person in India

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of acharya

1792, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for acharya

Sanskrit ācārya, literally, one who knows the rules, from ācāra custom, rule of conduct, from ācarati he approaches, proceeds, acts, from ā towards + carati he moves, goes; akin to Greek o- (in okellein to run aground), Avestan & Old Persian ā toward, Old English ō- back, behind, Old High German ā-, Old Slavic ja- (in jaskudĭ ugly)

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about acharya

Time Traveler for acharya

Time Traveler

The first known use of acharya was in 1792

See more words from the same year

Statistics for acharya

Cite this Entry

“Acharya.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 2020.

Comments on acharya

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


Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a traditional thanksgiving dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!