druid

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

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Other Words from druid

druidic \ drü-​ˈi-​dik How to pronounce druidic (audio) \ or druidical \ drü-​ˈi-​di-​kəl How to pronounce druidical (audio) \ adjective, 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 Mistletoe had long been revered by druids, while holly and ivy were celebrated in English songs at least from the 15th century. Anne Lawrence-mathers, Quartz, "Reinvention of Christmas decorations is a historical tradition," 24 Dec. 2019 Another name, the Oak Moon, comes from ties to ancient druid traditions of harvesting mistletoe from oak trees first recorded by the Roman historian Pliny the Elder in the 1st century CE. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, "Final full moon of the year is tonight, 12/12 at 12:12 a.m.," 11 Dec. 2019 Shortly before Boudica’s rebellion, Suetonius Paulinus had been called away to Mona, a druid stronghold on the large island of Anglesey off the northwestern coast of Wales. Richard Hingley, National Geographic, "Big, bad Boudica united thousands of ancient Britons against Rome," 22 Oct. 2019 Arcane magic still existed, but for clerics and druids, spells became supernatural abilities endowed by a collection of gods. William Herkewitz, Popular Mechanics, "Why D&D Modernized Its Magic for a New Generation of Fantasy," 1 Sep. 2019 With wooden horns and a scepter covered in ivy, Lagone says her cosplay was a representation of her own druid from Dungeons & Dragons. Emily Sabens, Indianapolis Star, "Santa Claus, Chewbacca, creepy clowns and more: 21 of the best costumes we saw at Gen Con," 3 Aug. 2019 Occasionally, Scragg himself features in a post—black eye liner, druid-like face tattoos, a naval-length ginger beard that coalesces into a single dreadlock—a true influencer in the world of the macabre. Oscar Schwartz, WIRED, "There’s a Thriving Market for Human Body Parts on Instagram," 21 Aug. 2019 Visitors and modern-day druids gathered to see the sunrise marking the start of the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Marc Martin, latimes.com, "Stonehenge dawn patrol: Modern-day druids and others celebrate summer solstice," 21 June 2019 According to Stukeley’s book, Stonehenge, a temple restor’d to the British druids, published in 1740, the monument was built as a guide to the solstices. Rachel E. Greenspan, Time, "Here's Why Stonehenge Is Connected to the Summer Solstice," 20 June 2019

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.

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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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Time Traveler for druid

Time Traveler

The first known use of druid was in 1563

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Statistics for druid

Last Updated

11 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Druid.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/druids. Accessed 26 January 2020.

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More Definitions for druid

druid

noun
How to pronounce druid (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of druid

: a member of a group of priests in an ancient British religion

More from Merriam-Webster on druid

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about druid

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