maya

1 of 2

noun (1)

ma·​ya ˈmä-yə How to pronounce maya (audio)
ˈmī-ə
: the sense-world of manifold phenomena held in Vedanta to conceal the unity of absolute being
broadly : illusion

Maya

2 of 2

noun (2)

Ma·​ya ˈmī-ə How to pronounce Maya (audio)
plural Maya or Mayas
1
a
: a Mayan language of the ancient Maya peoples recorded in inscriptions
b
: yucatec
especially : the older form of that language known from documents of the Spanish period
2
: a member of a group of Indian peoples chiefly of Yucatán, Belize, and Guatemala whose languages are Mayan

Examples of maya in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Circle of fire: The frame around Nataraja is maya, illusion, as experienced through the cyclical phenomenon of birth & death. Harish Pullanoor, Quartz India, 18 Dec. 2019 Between the gods and mortal men and women there hung a veil, and its name was maya. Salman Rushdie, The New Yorker, 22 July 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'maya.' 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

Noun (1)

Sanskrit māyā

Noun (2)

Spanish

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1788, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1825, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of maya was in 1788

Dictionary Entries Near maya

Cite this Entry

“Maya.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/maya. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

Maya

noun
Ma·​ya ˈmī-ə How to pronounce Maya (audio)
plural Maya or Mayas
: a member of a group of Indian peoples of the Yucatán Peninsula and neighboring areas
Mayan
ˈmī-ən
adjective

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