ori·​sha | \ ˈȯr-ə-ˌshä How to pronounce orisha (audio) \
plural orishas also orisha

Definition of orisha

: a Yoruba deity also : one identified with a Roman Catholic saint in Santeria

Examples of orisha in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web An intermediary orisha, Esu serves as the messenger between the priest and Ifa, as the two spirits are close companions to each other. NOLA.com, "Yoruba priests use divination tray to answer questions, solve dilemmas in the community," 1 Sep. 2020 The carved face on the tray represents an orisha, Esu, a messenger from the deities. NOLA.com, "Yoruba priests use divination tray to answer questions, solve dilemmas in the community," 1 Sep. 2020 The paintings are inspired in part by an orisha (god) in the West African religion of Yoruba named Ori, which means head. Darryl Ratcliff, Dallas News, "Artist Oshay Green’s exploration of ritual practice is bursting with life and wonder," 13 May 2020 Oxum is the orisha of love, commonly represented as a woman dressed in yellow and holding a mirror. Kiratiana Freelon, The Root, "For the Love of God? Evangelical Drug Traffickers Are Terrorizing Practitioners of Afro-Brazilian Religions," 16 Dec. 2017 The Yoruba religion has more than 400 orishas like her, representatives of the supreme god Olodumare. Femke Van Zeijl, New York Times, "In Sacred Grove in Nigeria, Worship and Connection," 13 Dec. 2016

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

1854, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for orisha

Yoruba òrìṣà

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Cite this Entry

“Orisha.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orisha. Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

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