der·​vish | \ ˈdər-vish How to pronounce dervish (audio) \

Definition of dervish

1 : a member of a Muslim religious order noted for devotional exercises (such as bodily movements leading to a trance)
2 : one that whirls or dances with or as if with the abandonment of a dervish

Examples of dervish in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Elisabeth Moss plays Jackson as a dervish of ideas and emotions, in a performance that surely must be remembered at the end of the year. Mark Olsenstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Indie Focus: Elisabeth Moss invokes ‘Shirley’ to fiery life," 5 June 2020 Already the school record-holder in rushing (5,262 yards), all-purpose yards (6,804), rushing touchdowns (81) and total touchdowns (88), the whirling dervish at running back is now a senior leader. Scott Springer,, "Roger Bacon running back, LSU commit Corey Kiner tries to weave way through confusing year," 4 June 2020 Mother Nature blesses us every day with a comfortingly reliable drumbeat of stability and tranquility to counter the omnipresent whirling dervish. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, "We know it's only May ... but you need to start thinking about your July pollinators now," 1 May 2020 Evan — quick, spinning, a dervish of a linebacker — would drill him. Michael Powell, New York Times, "He Was Fearless on a Football Field. But He Sensed Something Wasn’t Right.," 13 Feb. 2020 With the whirling dervish that tethered these supporting characters together out on the road, their individual stories seem, at times, adrift. Patrick Gomez,, "Mrs. Maisel season 3 is still marvelous, but tries too hard to be an ensemble comedy: Review," 4 Dec. 2019 Speaking of enthusiasm, who was that redheaded dervish? Darryn King, New York Times, "Building David Byrne’s ‘Utopia,’ One Gray Suit at a Time," 23 Nov. 2019 Specifically, two black holes of even mass should spin at 70 percent of a theoretical top speed after colliding, so Bartos and his colleagues are on the lookout for collisions between already whirling dervishes. Charlie Wood, Scientific American, "Black Hole Factories May Hide at Cores of Giant Galaxies," 4 Dec. 2019 The salad spinner, still since June, now thinks it’s a whirling dervish. Washington Post, "The greens of autumn require extra care when frost threatens," 13 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dervish.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dervish

1585, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dervish

Turkish derviş, literally, beggar, from Persian darvīsh

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Time Traveler for dervish

Time Traveler

The first known use of dervish was in 1585

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Statistics for dervish

Last Updated

19 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dervish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

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How to pronounce dervish (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dervish

: a member of a Muslim religious group that is known for its customs including a fast spinning dance that is done as part of worship

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