bharata natya


bhar·​a·​ta na·​tya
variants or bharata natyam
: a traditional Indian dance formerly exclusively performed by devadasis compare kathak, kathakali, manipuri

Word History


Sanskrit bharatanāṭya, literally, Bharata's dancing, from Bharata, a sage reputed to be the author of the Natyashastra, a manual of dramatic art + -nāṭya dramatic art, dancing

First Known Use

1944, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bharata natya was in 1944

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!

Dictionary Entries Near bharata natya

Cite this Entry

“Bharata natya.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Nov. 2022.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.