man·​tra ˈmän-trə How to pronounce mantra (audio)
 also  ˈman-,
 or  ˈmən-
: a mystical formula of invocation (see invocation sense 2) or incantation (as in Hinduism)
also : watchword sense 2
"diversity" has become our multicultural mantra Manning Marable
ˈmän-trik How to pronounce mantra (audio)
 also  ˈman-
 or  ˈmən-

Example Sentences

a businessman whose mantra is “bigger is better”
Recent Examples on the Web Those magical words ever on the lips of higher-ed bureaucrats are exactly the kind of official mantra that my theory professors in the 1980s told me to mistrust, critique and deconstruct. WSJ, 14 Feb. 2023 Miami needed every bit of that mantra to hold off No. 20 Clemson 78-74 on Saturday. Pete Iacobelli, Sun Sentinel, 4 Feb. 2023 Windsor Locks — Building confidence before the first games or scrimmages are even played appears to be part of coach Jim O’Brien’s mantra. Steve Smith, Hartford Courant, 31 Aug. 2022 Lizzo and her mantra of body positivity proved a natural touchstone. Thomas Floyd, Washington Post, 12 July 2022 But few had left, and more were arriving by the time Acebedo asked for a moment of silence while a Sanskrit mantra played off a smartphone. Los Angeles Times, 4 Feb. 2023 Lavrov, Russia’s top diplomat, on his recent trip to Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Eritrea and South Africa, met African leaders to shore up support with a consistent mantra. Mary Ilyushina, Washington Post, 2 Feb. 2023 Yet the buy-local mantra risks ignoring other kinds of communities. Christine Ro, Forbes, 27 Jan. 2023 In the years since, it has been drilled into Americans’ heads in schools, in workplaces and in private training sessions, a bleak mantra for a nation with hundreds of millions of guns and where mass shootings have become an ever-escalating plague. Serge F. Kovaleski, New York Times, 25 Jan. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Sanskrit, sacred counsel, formula, from manyate he thinks; akin to Latin mens mind — more at mind

First Known Use

1795, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mantra was in 1795

Dictionary Entries Near mantra

Cite this Entry

“Mantra.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Mar. 2023.

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