aji·​vi·​ka | \ ä-ˈjē-və-kə \
plural -s

Definition of ajivika

: a member of a nontheistic religious sect greatly resembling Jainism that was founded by the Indian teacher Maskarin Gosala, a contemporary of the Buddha and Mahavira, and that flourished from the 6th to the 3d centuries b.c. as a rival of Buddhism and Jainism

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 ajivika

1888, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ajivika

Sanskrit ājīvika, literally, following special rules with regard to livelihood, from ājīva livelihood, from ājīvati he lives on, from ā toward + jīvati he lives, from jīva living

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ajivika

Time Traveler for ajivika

Time Traveler

The first known use of ajivika was in 1888

See more words from the same year

Statistics for ajivika

Cite this Entry

“Ajivika.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ajivika. Accessed 18 January 2020.

Comments on ajivika

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


experienced by way of someone else

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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!