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 To their right is percussionist Jodi Linscott, a whirling dervish surrounded by percussive toys who spins a full 360, slashing and whacking away at all of them. San Diego Union-Tribune, "From the Archives: The Who’s generation turned out at stadium 30 years ago," 23 Aug. 2019 Through it all, Mr. Prince was a dervish of creative impatience. Washington Post, "Harold Prince, consummate Broadway impresario, dies at 91," 3 Aug. 2019 The best way to dodge incoming bullets is to tap the controller’s left bumper which makes your masked gunslinger twirl around like a rampaging dervish. Washington Post, "Nothing but old-fashioned arcade fun in ‘My Friend Pedro’," 21 June 2019 For the experiment, each has to spend six months staying home with their kids, trying to make dinner every night and field work calls while their offspring spin around them like dervishes. Laura Turner, Glamour, "The Big Problem With the New Screen Time Guidelines for Kids," 26 Apr. 2019 Some of the panels are a little out there, such as a drive to imprint the Golden Rule on Arizona license plates, but mostly the parliament resembles a colorful religious bazaar, with mandalas, shofars and whirling dervishes. Gordon Mehler, WSJ, "Common Ground for a Wiccan and a Rabbi?," 1 Nov. 2018 Bruno Frisoni found a tall fez in a collection forming a stylish tablescape and spent most of the evening whirling like a dervish in it. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Hamish Bowles Attends Serdar Gülgün’s Opulent Ottoman Ball in Istanbul," 4 Feb. 2019 Anna is a whirling dervish who talks in her sleep all night long, even getting up to stand on the bed sometimes! Ellie Delano, Woman's Day, "Dreaming Of A Good Night's Sleep," 9 Aug. 2011 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,, "Classic games, lovingly reimagined in 'Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy'," 13 July 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.

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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

The first known use of dervish was in 1585

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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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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).


to engage in dissolute behavior

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