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 The song is a whirling dervish: 26 chord changes in 16 rapid-fire bars, a steady spiral of major-third modulations that can make even the most adept players scramble. New York Times, 10 Mar. 2021 The group’s whirling-dervish riffing and Robinson’s confrontational attitude attracted the attention of the Dead Kennedys, whose bassist, Klaus Flouride, produced their debut record. Kory Grow, Rolling Stone, 26 Feb. 2021 As Iranians say, the night is long and the dervish is awake. Washington Examiner, 25 Feb. 2021 Lavant was known at the time for his intense physicality and his whirling-dervish performances in films by Leos Carax, including The Lovers on the Bridge. Alison Willmore, Vulture, 22 Feb. 2021 His large collage drawing surrounds images cut from anatomy books with whirling dervish-like lines. New York Times, 4 Feb. 2021 Kiki Tyson is a whirling dervish wife who also plays a significant role in her husband’s business affairs. Josh Peter, USA TODAY, 5 Dec. 2020 Much of the album is dedicated to instrumental dervish. Matt Wake |, al, 23 Sep. 2020 My littlest whirling dervish tilted on his axis for a few more rotations, before collapsing in a sweaty heap next to me on the grass. Sarah Evans, Longreads, 10 Aug. 2020

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

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The first known use of dervish was in 1585

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Cite this Entry

“Dervish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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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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