Definition of ashram
1 : a secluded dwelling of a Hindu sage; also : the group of disciples instructed there
2 : a religious retreat
ashram was our Word of the Day on 11/17/2007. Hear the podcast!
Recent Examples of ashram from the Web
When Mr. Rao was unexpectedly named prime minister in 1991, after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, Chandraswamy’s ashram became a hub for Delhi’s power circles.
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.
Did You Know?
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.
Origin and Etymology of ashram
Sanskrit āśrama, from śrama religious exercise
First Known Use: 1835
ASHRAM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of ashram for English Language Learners
: a place where a person or a group of people go to live separately from the rest of society and practice the Hindu religion
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