ash·​ram | \ ˈäsh-rəm How to pronounce ashram (audio) , -ˌräm; ˈash-ˌram How to pronounce ashram (audio) \

Definition of ashram

1 : a secluded dwelling of a Hindu sage also : the group of disciples instructed there
2 : a religious or spiritual retreat

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Ashram first appeared in English in the early 1900s and gained traction after Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi founded his famous ashrams at Sabarmati near Ahmadabad and at Sevagram near Wardha. The word ashram derives from a Sanskrit word, "srama," which means "religious exertion." Later in the 20th century, English speakers broadened the term "ashram" to encompass any sort of religious retreat, regardless of denomination. In addition to practicing yoga and mediation, Susan from our example sentence may also receive instruction from a religious teacher and do some type of manual or mental work during her stay at the ashram.

Examples of ashram in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Satprem is a harsh taskmaster whose edicts result in conflict between the residents of Auroville and its governing body at an ashram in Pondicherry., 16 July 2021 That a Black woman from Depression-era Detroit established a Hindi ashram in the hills of California next to a horse ranch and performed centuries-old Indian hymns there still boggles the mind. Washington Post, 9 July 2021 For Carnivorous Shortboaders: Encinitas The Surf: Nicknamed for the ashram that overlooks this point break, Swami’s is one of the most beloved shortboard spots in the area. Sara Clemence, WSJ, 4 June 2021 Originally released on private-press cassette in 1982 via Coltrane’s ashram, the original Turiya Sings featured the artist’s serene devotional songs, accompanied by her Wurlitzer organ and overdubbed strings and synths. Hank Shteamer, Rolling Stone, 2 June 2021 Embedded into her design are images of the Watts Towers, Noah Purifoy’s desert museum in Joshua Tree and Alice Coltrane’s ashram in Agoura (which was lost to the catastrophic fires of 2018). Los Angeles Times, 22 May 2021 The woman leading the yoga class had studied for 12 years at an ashram in California, paying for her teacher training by working remotely as a hacker for an American finance company. Morgan Thomas, The Atlantic, 16 May 2021 First exposed to the practice as a kid growing up on an ashram in Connecticut, he’s been committed to meditating daily since 2003. Los Angeles Times, 26 Jan. 2021 The Class remotely 6 days a week, or, in days gone by, spending over a month in silent meditation at an Indian ashram. Jessica Kerwin Jenkins, Vogue, 23 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ashram.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ashram

1835, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ashram

Sanskrit āśrama, from śrama religious exercise

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Last Updated

19 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ashram.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jul. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of ashram

: a place where a person or a group of people go to live separately from the rest of society and practice the Hindu religion

More from Merriam-Webster on ashram

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ashram Encyclopedia article about ashram


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