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 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 Greene, who earned an Oscar nomination for playing medicine man Kicking Bird in Kevin Costner’s Dances with Wolves and will also appear in Marvel’s Echo series, joins an ensemble cast that includes Linda Kash, Dan Jeannotte, Andrew Phung and Paloma Nunez. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 Aug. 2022 On the other chair was Sincere Seven, the 43-year-old master of this ceremony, who calls himself a multidimensional travel agent, spiritual tour guide, medicine man and witch doctor. John Carlisle,, 18 Aug. 2022 Pete, of the Las Vegas Indian Center, described the role of the medicine man in their culture as a highly respected leadership post. Rio Yamat, USA TODAY, 8 Feb. 2023 Known for his role as young Sioux tribe member Smiles a Lot in the Oscar-winning Kevin Costner film, Chasing Horse gained a reputation among tribes across the United States and in Canada as a medicine man who performed healing ceremonies. CBS News, 2 Feb. 2023 Beau Goodwin, one of the men who came out to provide support for the women's burn event, is a cultural practitioner and medicine man when not serving as an engine captain for the Forest Service., 30 Jan. 2023 See More

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 24 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition

medicine man

: a person especially among the American Indians that is believed to have magic powers that can cure illnesses and keep away evil spirits by potions and charms
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!