dervish

noun
der·​vish | \ˈdər-vish \

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

His cross-eyes and panting-dog demeanor belie a natural genius, which is the player's talent at jumping on enemies and spinning into them like a dervish to vanquish them. Harold Goldberg, chicagotribune.com, "Classic games, lovingly reimagined in 'Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy'," 13 July 2018 What Happened: The G7 Summit has arrived in Canada, bringing with it the whirling dervish that is international diplomacy in the age of Donald Trump. Graeme Mcmillan, WIRED, "While You Were Offline: International House of ... Breakfast? Bacon? Befuddlement?," 10 June 2018 The dervishes have provided Turkey with some of its most iconic images. Erin Cunningham, Washington Post, "Why Turkey’s president was among thousands in Konya paying homage to Rumi," 2 Jan. 2018 The old free-wheeling, button-mashing, whirling dervish style gives way to more calculated, hands-on direct melee combat. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "God of War (2018): How to reinvent a beloved series without ruining what works," 12 Apr. 2018 What followed is an event that none of the 110 guests are likely to forget—one where the entertainment included fire-eaters, belly dancers, fireworks, and a Sufi whirling dervish. Brooke Porter Katz, Harper's BAZAAR, "Queen of the Desert: Henrietta Tiefenthaler & Oli Wennink's Wedding in Morocco," 11 Apr. 2018 In 16 minutes of action Monday, Gillespie scored four points; had five rebounds, an assist, and a steal; and was a dervish on defense. Mike Sielski, Philly.com, "Don't forget Collin Gillespie's contributions Monday; without them, Villanova wouldn't have won another title | Mike Sielski," 3 Apr. 2018 But where Thompson operates almost exclusively around the rim, Minnie is a bit of a dervish. Elton Alexander, cleveland.com, "Players to watch at the 2018 MAC Tournament," 7 Mar. 2018 Ries is a whirling dervish of the startup and innovation world. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "Famed 'Pivot' Strategy of Startups May Not Work For GE," 26 Feb. 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dervish

Dictionary Entries near dervish

derris

Derry

Deruta

dervish

dervishhood

dervishism

Derwent

Statistics for dervish

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dervish

The first known use of dervish was in 1585

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dervish

dervish

noun

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

More from Merriam-Webster on dervish

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dervish

Comments on dervish

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

WORD OF THE DAY

playful or foolish behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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