medicine man


: a person especially among American Indian groups who is believed to possess supernatural powers that can heal illnesses and keep away evil spirits : shaman

Examples of medicine man in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Thirty-one of the 190 videos—almost a fifth—include disparaging remarks about tribal practices including the Sunrise Dance or medicine men, including two completely dedicated to convincing the congregation of the evil within the Sunrise Dance. Seyward Darby, Longreads, 28 June 2024 Bacalar, Mexico Hosting multi-day ayahuasca retreats in the lagoon-side town of Bacalar, in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, is Peruvian-American healer and curator Amalia Moscoso, who brings together medicine men and women, facilitators, and shamans of all backgrounds to create each of her experiences. Michaela Trimble, Condé Nast Traveler, 17 Jan. 2023 Klee’s father, Jones Benally, is a traditional Diné (as the Navajo call themselves) medicine man; his mother, Berta Benally, is an activist and folk musician of Russian-Polish Jewish heritage who grew up in the folk scene of Greenwich Village. Penelope Green, New York Times, 7 Jan. 2024 When Kinsel recently began seeing visions of his late horse Yoyo running toward him, a medicine man held a ceremony to dispel the phantoms. David Kelly, Los Angeles Times, 28 Jan. 2024 Benally, the son of Navajo medicine man, Hoop Dancer and cultural performer Jones Benally and Berta Benally, a folk singer of Russian-Polish Jewish heritage, was born in Black Mesa on the Navajo Nation in 1975. Debra Utacia Krol, The Arizona Republic, 4 Jan. 2024 Her mother, who came from a lineage of medicine men and women, clung tightly to the seasonal rituals of gathering plants and keeping sacred songs. Rowan Moore Gerety, WIRED, 13 July 2023 Police and prosecutors have said that in the decades since appearing in the Oscar-winning movie, Chasing Horse had marketed himself to tribes nationwide as a medicine man with healing powers who could communicate with higher beings. Rio Yamat, USA TODAY, 9 Apr. 2023 That led him to study to become a medicine man. Arlyssa D. Becenti, The Arizona Republic, 8 Mar. 2023

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

Word History

First Known Use

1801, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of medicine man was in 1801

Dictionary Entries Near medicine man

Cite this Entry

“Medicine man.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

medicine man

: a person especially among members of Indigenous American tribes that is believed to have magic powers that can cure illnesses and keep away evil spirits by potions and charms
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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