bharata natya

bhar·​a·​ta na·​tya | \ ¦bər-ə-tə-ˈnä-tyə \
variants: or bharata natyam \ ¦bər-​ə-​tə-​ˈnä-​tyəm \

Definition of bharata natya

: a traditional Indian dance formerly exclusively performed by devadasis — compare kathak, kathakali, manipuri

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!

First Known Use of bharata natya

1944, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bharata natya

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bharata natya

Time Traveler for bharata natya

Time Traveler

The first known use of bharata natya was in 1944

See more words from the same year

Statistics for bharata natya

Cite this Entry

“Bharata natya.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2020.

Comments on bharata natya

What made you want to look up bharata natya? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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