dhar·​ma ˈdär-mə How to pronounce dharma (audio) ˈdər- How to pronounce dharma (audio)
Hinduism : an individual's duty fulfilled by observance of custom or law
Hinduism and Buddhism
: the basic principles of cosmic or individual existence : divine law
: conformity to one's duty and nature
ˈdər- How to pronounce dharma (audio)

Examples of dharma in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the Hindu tradition, Prince Rama is seen as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and an embodiment of dharma or righteousness. Lizz Schumer, Good Housekeeping, 23 Sep. 2021 Each writer in this book mentions experiences practicing with different sanghas, or communities practicing the dharma (Buddhist teachings) together. NBC News, 16 Dec. 2020 And 16 months ago, the SF Dharma Collective formed in the former Against The Stream space on 23rd and Folsom, with dharma talks every night of the week. Michelle Villegas Threadgould, SFChronicle.com, 7 Feb. 2020 His morality is based on the apad dharma or the moral code during the time of crisis. Anand Neelakanthan, Quartz India, 20 Dec. 2019 However, the Shiv Sena made a claim for chief ministership citing a pre-poll agreement, while the BJP asserted that no such promise was made, and that coalition dharma mandates that the chief minister’s chair go to the bigger party. Nikunj Laddha, Quartz India, 25 Nov. 2019 Wochit Tonen O’Connor's life has been a mix of drama and dharma. Crocker Stephenson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 19 Mar. 2018 Run by 11 resident Buddhist monks, longtime staff and volunteers, the temple is open daily for prayers, regular religious ceremonies, ancestral chanting, dharma talks and meditation retreats. Kai Oliver-Kurtin, USA TODAY, 15 Feb. 2018 The faith focuses on salvation through total devotion, or bhakti, to God as developed through the virtues (dharma), detachment (vairagaya) and spiritual wisdom (jnana). Jonathan M. Pitts, baltimoresun.com, 4 July 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dharma.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Sanskrit; akin to Latin firmus firm

First Known Use

1796, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of dharma was in 1796

Dictionary Entries Near dharma

Cite this Entry

“Dharma.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dharma. Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on dharma

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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