Definition of avatar
1 : the incarnation of a Hindu deity (such as Vishnu)
2a : an incarnation in human formb : an embodiment (as of a concept or philosophy) often in a person She was regarded as an avatar of charity and concern for the poor.
3 : a variant phase or version of a continuing basic entity the latest avatar of the conservative movement
4 : an electronic image that represents and is manipulated by a computer user in a virtual space (as in a computer game or an online shopping site) and that interacts with other objects in the space
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Examples of avatar in a Sentence
She has come to be regarded as an avatar of charity and concern for the poor.
She chose a penguin as her personal avatar in the chat room.
Recent Examples of avatar from the Web
Like the Christian faith there are other avatars or deities Hindus’ pray to who may intervene on their behalf to God.
For all these reasons, Colón (or my imagined Colón) has become an avatar for me of a vanishing way of watching sports.
With some help from her daughter’s Second Life avatar, Holocaust survivor Fanny Starr met with a group of the virtual world’s citizens to share her personal experience of the horrors of genocide.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'avatar'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Avatar derives from a Sanskrit word meaning "descent," and when it first appeared in English in the late 18th century, it referred to the descent of a deity to the earth - typically, the incarnation in earthly form of Vishnu or another Hindu deity. It later came to refer to any incarnation in human form, and then to any embodiment (such as that of a concept or philosophy), whether or not in the form a person. In the age of technology, "avatar" has developed another sense - it can now be used for the image that a person chooses as his or her "embodiment" in an electronic medium.
AVATAR Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of avatar for English Language Learners
Hinduism : the human or animal form of a Hindu god on earth
: someone who represents a type of person, an idea, or a quality
computers : a small picture that represents a computer user in a game, on the Internet, etc.
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