la·​ma | \ ˈlä-mə How to pronounce lama (audio) \

Definition of lama

: a Lamaist monk

Examples of lama in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But in the 17th century the country was unified by a founder-king and lama called Ngawang Namgyal (1594–1651), the first Zhabdrung, and the greatest. Lawrence Osborne, Town & Country, "Why Everyone Is Traveling to Bhutan," 30 Mar. 2015 The story is as follows: The monastery was built in memory of a 15th-century lama called Drukpa Kunley. Lawrence Osborne, Town & Country, "Why Everyone Is Traveling to Bhutan," 30 Mar. 2015 But with the help of the lamas in a Buddhist monastery deep in the Himalayas, the duo overcome their wartime fears and find inner peace. Pooja Makhijani, The Atlantic, "What a Forgotten Kids' Book Reveals About U.S. Publishing," 3 Oct. 2017 Bogle found a medieval Buddhist land ruled by a Druk Desi (a prime minister) and by a hereditary lama known as the Zhabdrung Rinpoche—who could be reincarnated as three separate entities. Lawrence Osborne, Town & Country, "Why Everyone Is Traveling to Bhutan," 30 Mar. 2015 Atop a hill, a growling chain saw drowned out loudspeakers broadcasting a lama’s chants from a nearby temple. Edward Wong, New York Times, "China Takes a Chain Saw to a Center of Tibetan Buddhism," 28 Nov. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lama.' 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 lama

1654, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lama

Tibetan blama

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Dictionary Entries near lama






La Mancha


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Time Traveler for lama

The first known use of lama was in 1654

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English Language Learners Definition of lama

: a Buddhist priest of Tibet or Mongolia

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More from Merriam-Webster on lama

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lama

Spanish Central: Translation of lama

Nglish: Translation of lama for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about lama

Comments on lama

What made you want to look up lama? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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