druid

noun

dru·​id ˈdrü-id How to pronounce druid (audio)
often capitalized
: one of an ancient Celtic priesthood appearing in Irish and Welsh sagas and Christian legends as magicians and wizards
druidic adjective
or druidical
often capitalized

Did you know?

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 Larian Studios Interesting choices Back to that fortified druid encampment. Kevin Purdy, Ars Technica, 3 Aug. 2023 And instead of trying to escape the tropes, the filmmakers lean into them, giving a fresh spin on wizards, dragons, elves and druids. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, 4 Jan. 2024 People look towards the sun as druids, pagans and revelers gather at Stonehenge for a winter solstice ceremony on Dec. 21, 2016. Kerry Breen, CBS News, 21 Dec. 2023 Through its adventures with Celtic druids to Mexico’s Day of the Dead, the film is exciting, scary and enlightening. Keith Langston, Peoplemag, 20 Oct. 2023 The problem was audiences who weren’t well-versed in paladins, druids and bards mostly steered clear. Rebecca Rubin, Variety, 27 June 2023 Photograph: Esther Derksen/Getty Images Our overeager party—an elvish druid; a dwarven wizard; a halfling rogue; and a human paladin—has arrived at a dusty, cluttered library. Ethan Gilsdorf, WIRED, 27 June 2023 In southern England, druids, pagans, hippies, local residents and tourists – wearing robes and colorful wardrobes – celebrated the first day of summer at Stonehenge Tuesday and greeted the sunrise Wednesday. Francisco Guzman, USA TODAY, 21 June 2023 Even someone who's never played a role-playing game in their life can pick up that a druid's main power is shapeshifting into animals thanks to the early scene where Doric (Lillis) spies on the bad guys and then evades capture by changing into a bug, then a mouse, then a hawk, a cat, and a deer. Christian Holub, EW.com, 29 Mar. 2023 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

1563, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of druid was in 1563

Dictionary Entries Near druid

Cite this Entry

“Druid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/druid. Accessed 5 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

druid

noun
dru·​id ˈdrü-əd How to pronounce druid (audio)
often capitalized
: a member of an ancient Celtic priesthood appearing in sagas and legends as magicians and wizards
druidic adjective
or druidical
often capitalized
druidism
ˈdrü-ə-ˌdiz-əm
noun often capitalized

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