noun, often capitalized
dru·​id | \ ˈdrü-id How to pronounce druid (audio) \

Definition of druid

: one of an ancient Celtic priesthood appearing in Irish and Welsh sagas and Christian legends as magicians and wizards

Other Words from druid

druidic \ drü-​ˈi-​dik How to pronounce druid (audio) \ or druidical \ drü-​ˈi-​di-​kəl How to pronounce druid (audio) \ adjective, often capitalized

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Members of a learned class of priests, teachers, and judges among the ancient Celtic peoples, the druids instructed young men, oversaw sacrifices, judged quarrels, and decreed penalties. They did not engage in warfare and paid no tribute. They studied ancient verse, natural philosophy, astronomy, and religious lore; their principal doctrine was belief in the immortality of the soul and the belief that the soul passed into another body after death. They sometimes practiced human sacrifice to cure gravely ill people or protect warriors in battle. The druids were suppressed in Gaul by the Romans in the first century ce and in Britain a little later. After Christianity came to Ireland, they lost their priestly functions, but survived as poets, historians, and judges.

Examples of druid in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Then there's Doric (Sophie Lillis), a tiefling druid who can transform into a ferocious owlbear, which comes in handy during a fight. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 22 July 2022 Smith appears to be a wizard, while Lillis seems to be a druid or a ranger. J. Kim Murphy, Variety, 20 July 2022 On the winter solstice, visitors traditionally have had opportunity to enter the towering, mysterious stone circle for a sunrise ceremony run by local pagan and druid groups. Forrest Brown, CNN, 21 Dec. 2021 Kobold Press provided a sample item that druid players will find useful. Rob Wieland, Forbes, 1 Mar. 2021 That name draws from ancient druid traditions when people harvested mistletoe from oak trees, which was recorded by the Roman historian Pliny the Elder in the first century, according to NASA. Ryan Prior, CNN, 1 Dec. 2020 Asterix is indomitable, however, because his druid friend Getafix gives him a special potion to drink. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, 16 June 2020 People from all over the world including tourists, druids, and pagans come together to watch the sunrise above the stone formation (though this year it has been canceled). Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, 19 Mar. 2020 Its folk history may tie it to druids and secretive scholars, but the designs look as current and chic as anything dreamed up today. Washington Post, 3 Mar. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of druid

1563, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for druid

Latin druides, druidae, plural, from Gaulish druides; akin to Old Irish druí druid, and perhaps to Old English trēow tree

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Last Updated

1 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Druid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/druid. Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on druid

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about druid


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