variants or babailan
or babalyan
or babalian
plural babaylanes
in central and southern Philippines
: a pagan priest, priestess, or medium

Word History


of Philippine origin; akin to Tagbanuwa babalyan, from balyan mediumship, esoteric religious skill

First Known Use

1900, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of babaylan was in 1900

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Dictionary Entries Near babaylan

Cite this Entry

“Babaylan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

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